'Up to 18,000 properties affected by taniwha tax'

Iwi sacred site rights “a variable and unpredictable capital tax,” says Taxpayers' Union.

Up to 18,000 properties may be affected by Auckland Council’s “taniwha tax,” according to the Taxpayers’ Union.

It is holding a forum on level 9 of the Crombie Lockwood tower at 191 Queen St at 10.30am today to publicise a report about the "tax." (See report attached below)

It is enacted via the mana whenua provisions in the Auckland Unitary Plan and is now enforceable.

It requires property owners to obtain a report from iwi about any possible effect of development on sacred sites.

The Taxpayers’ Union describes it as a variable and unpredictable capital tax, collected when someone wants to change their property use, creating uncertainty.

“Despite the National Party’s claims to uphold property rights it has put in some of the worst provisions. Section 14 (4) of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 means the owner of Wellington’s Harcourt’s building cannot claim for the effective confiscation of the value of his Lambton Quay property by prohibitions on demolishing the earthquake prone facade, which is widely accepted to be a danger to the public.

“That is despite the owner’s intention to rebuild the historic facade with a safe, but visually identical, structure,” Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Jordan Williams says.

"Most affected property owners will not become aware of the provisions until they suddenly find there is a site on or near their land, or they are told they may need to get a cultural impact assessment when applying for resource consent.

“Worse, the council isn’t even sure that some of the 3600 sites deemed of value even exist."

The briefing paper quotes extensive criticisms of the provisions made on behalf of some of New Zealand’s largest corporates, including Vodafone, Spark, Chorus, Transpower, Vector and Watercare.

RAW DATA: Auckland 'Taniwha Tax' briefing paper (PDF here)

1 comment
Login in or Register to view & post comments