Govt plans to get rid of 'loopy' rules

Paula Bennett. Photo NZ Herald/Stuart Munro
Paula Bennett. Photo NZ Herald/Stuart Munro
The Government is giving the public an opportunity to complain about "pedantic" and "unnecessary" regulations including onerous rules for cake stalls and requirements for positioning shower curtains.

Local Government Minister Paula Bennett announced plans this morning for a Rules Reduction Taskforce, which will try to cut unnecessary bureaucracy and scrap "loopy" local and central government regulations.

"We've seen rules and regulations brought in over decades that were well-intentioned but end up being confusing, onerous and costly while failing to deliver any real benefit for the property owner or the wider public," Mrs Bennett said.

"We have rules dictating all sorts of weird and wonderful things from signage over cake stalls to where your shower curtains need to be positioned.

"In another example, a property owner trying to replace a 130-year-old fence discovered some of it was on a scenic reserve and they faced having to buy or lease the land."

A website would be created to allow the public to submit rules that were "ripe for change".

The taskforce, which would include tradespeople and building experts, would consider whether the rules could be eliminated.

Mrs Bennett said it was only a six-person board, and was not adding bureaucracy to reduce bureaucracy.

- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald

Give it a chance

What could possibly be wrong with reviewing laws which individual citizens are able to submit for review?

Shared responsibility

"In what sense is it an unnecessary regulation that if your fence is on someone else's property you have to buy, lease or give back the land you've enclosed?" asks Rob Fischer.  

True, when the encroachment onto someone else's property was done within, say, the last 30 years.  That's enough time for the legitimate owner to notice it's wrong and get it put right.  But in the case of "a 130-year-old fence" that has caused no actual problems, unless there is proof that whoever first built the fence intended to deprive the owner of the reserve of some land, it's petty to penalise the current owner for errors on both parts that long ago.  A boundary fence is the responsibility of both parties, isn't it?  So why hasn't the State, which has far better resources including surveyors and detailed maps than the ordinary householder, noticed till now?  Carelessness!  Best they shut up and leave the couple to replace the fence quietly at their own expense - or cough up for all those years of fence maintenance carried out by owners of the house.

Another loopy National 'idea'?

Oh, not another loopy Bennett diversion ploy two months out from a change of Government! Surely not a diversion away from child poverty, ridiculous house prices, a buy cheapest regardless of quality goverment policy, an arrogant PM, and a Minister of Social Welfare who fools only the gullible?     

Unnecessary?

"In another example, a property owner trying to replace a 130-year-old fence discovered some of it was on a scenic reserve and they faced having to buy or lease the land."

In what sense is it an unnecessary regulation that if your fence is on someone else's property you have to buy, lease or give back the land you've enclosed? Rather than the State (aka. the taxpayer, aka. you and me) giving them the land (as Paula seems to suggest) they could have been charged 130 years of back rent. Simply asking them to pay for it from that point on seems utterly utterly reasonable.

Let them eat cake

I wonder if the wording the Hon. Paula Bennett wants over cakestalls is ...

Rules reduction taskforce

Smoke & mirrors to give Paula a "nice image". Yeah, right.

 

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