I fear it’s simply a ruse to absorb dissatisfaction rather than the blunt instrument it should be to hit councils around the head, but new Local Government minister Paula Bennett has now
formally launched her Rules Reduction Taskforce aimed at finding 'loopy' property rules and regulations, naming the heads of the new body and setting up a website to solicit examples.
"People can now head to this rules reduction website, to start telling us what bugs them when it comes to loopy rules and regulations," Bennett said.
The “Taskforce” is headed by National MP Jacqui Dean, with no particular qualifications for the task, and Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.
"I'm asking property owners, builders, tradespeople and businesses who have experienced the issues caused by irrelevant or unnecessary regulations, to help draw these to our attention," Bennett said…
"We need to hear from New Zealanders about examples that have got in the way of their building, renovation, landscaping, and home improvement plans, so that we can cut the red tape where it needs to be cut, to help them get on with the job."
I expect little – and still say the single best thing Bennett could do in her portfolio is to reverse the “powers of general competence” that former minister Sandra Lee granted councils -- but I’d still recommend you fill Bennett’s rules reduction website with all your genuine horror stories, of which I know you will have several dozen each.
At least it will give you somewhere to get them off your chest.