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Government's tacklers of 'loopy' property rules and regulations named with public meetings set from March to May

Government's tacklers of 'loopy' property rules and regulations named with public meetings set from March to May

Local Government Minister Paula Bennett has unveiled the members of her Rules Reduction Taskforce, which will aim to get rid of "loopy" property rules and regulations.

Bennett says the Taskforce will hold public meetings between March and May to consider submissions. The 11 member Taskforce will be co-chaired by National Party MP for Waitaki, Jacqui Dean, who is also Parliamentary Private Secretary for Local Government, and Michael Barnett, the chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Other members include ex-National MPs Tau Henare and John Carter, Connal Townsend who is chief executive of the Property Council, the managing director of ICB Retaining and Construction Christopher Burke, Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, and ex-ANZ executive and consultant Mark Thomas.

“The Rules Reduction Taskforce has been set up to get rid of loopy property rules and regulations that are stopping people from getting on with the job,” Bennett said in a statement.

“The members appointed today have a wealth of experience across the building and trades sectors as well as central and local government. I’ve asked them to hold public hearings around the country, as well as consider submissions made online, and come back to the Government outlining areas where we can make improvements and cut red tape.”

Bennett cited "a great deal of frustration" from people looking to build, redevelop or make home improvements. They were being held back by confusing, costly rules which have long since lost their relevance.

“We believe there are quick fixes we can make in the short-term, and some longer-term work we can do, to make things more efficient and straightforward for people. It will also be an opportunity to determine which rules should stay or be strengthened," said Bennett.

She said information on the meetings is on the Taskforce’s Facebook page -, and Twitter  - @CutRedTapeNZ. Submissions can be made at

Bennett formerly launched the Taskforce last October.

Members of the Taskforce

Jacqui Dean MP – co-Chair (Oamaru)

Ms Dean is the MP for Waitaki and the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism and for Local Government.

Michael Barnett ONZM – co-Chair (Auckland)
Mr Barnett is the Chief Executive of the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He has experience in local and central government and has extensive board/taskforce experience.

Christopher Burke – Member (Auckland)

Mr Burke is the Managing Director of ICB Retaining and Construction in Auckland.

Hon John Carter QSO – Member (Awanui)

Hon John Carter is the Mayor of the Far North District Council. He was previously the MP for Northland and has both local and central government experience.

Stephen Halliwell – Member (Oamaru)

Mr Halliwell works as a local government financial management and governance consultant across the country. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Hon Tau Henare – Member (Auckland)

Hon Tau Henare is a former New Zealand First and National Party MP. Mr Henare has held a number of ministerial posts and was a former Associate Spokesperson on Treaty of Waitangi issues and Maori Affairs (Treaty Negotiations).

Philippa Murdoch – Member (Christchurch)

Ms Murdoch is a business partner/office manager for Pacific Helicopters in Christchurch. She is experienced in property management.

Rachel Reese – Member (Nelson)

Ms Reese is the Mayor of the Nelson City Council. She is a member of the Resource Management Law Association and has experience in local government, resource consent and plan change processes.

Mark Thomas – Member (Auckland)

Mr Thomas is the managing director of Serviceworks Group, a consultancy company. He is also a deputy chair of the Orakei local board, responsible for economic development. He was a former executive with the ANZ Bank, and has been involved as a volunteer in a wide range of community groups.

Connal Townsend JP – Member (Auckland)

Mr Townsend is the Chief Executive of the Property Council, which represents the interests of the commercial property and investment industry in New Zealand. Prior to joining the Property Council, Mr Townsend held senior management roles in the finance industry, and was a regional manager at Housing New Zealand.

Ian Tulloch QSO, JP – Member (Gore)

Mr Tulloch has had a long career in local government, business and the community. He was Mayor of Mataura Borough Council for six years until 1989, and Mayor of Gore District Council until 1995.

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"Hon Tau Henare is a former New Zealand First and National Party MP. Mr Henare has held a number of ministerial posts and was a former Associate Spokesperson on Treaty of Waitangi issues and Maori Affairs (Treaty Negotiations)"

Tau will be chuckling about this inclusion, nice little earner and junket. Meanwhile I expect the review to be finished same time next year and then filed witjh no changes made.


so the govt is admitting it has run out of ideas? 

" and come back to the Government outlining areas where we can make improvements and cut red tape"




The fact that the Government is having to undertake this tells it all......I can't help but wonder if it is too little to late.......who's going to deal with the bureaucrat hit-men who have steadfastedly abused the Bill of Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other constitutional issues while interpreting their rules and regulations??


The issues are not only about weeding out bad rules and regulation you have to weed out the problem personalities who push the boundaries of what they administer.


Absolutely correct, and hopefully you'll be putting in a submission to the task force providing them with information about those abuses.  Government can't know about and can't deal with such issues if people who experience such abuse don't report it


Yes I will be putting in submissions and encouraging others to do the same.....I do however see the whole process as a rather large cost which is completely unecessary....the Government should already know where the problem areas are!!


On the second issue you raise......It requires a Government, all MP's and other elected representatives to hold the Rights of the people at the forefront in all decision making, this then transfers down the line as it places the topic at the forefront everywhere and creates discussions, debates and thinking!!


As Einsteing stated:

"Education is not the learning of facts – It’s rather the training of the mind to think".


Not too much thinking been going on....


The Vogons ensure that all their inefficiencies are transferred, many practice far beyond their legislative scope, it's the keister of the bureaucracies.....if a Government cannot see that then they would be nothing more than a Kakistocracy!!  


Oh boy I bet they are so looking forward to submissions from the cranks and nutters...

yes I bet.


The problem is separating the real cranks and nutters from the actual solutions which don't match up to the pre-condition criteria that they've been told that works (but doesn't).... invariably that system results in regression back to the same philosophies that caused the initial errors.  


I wonder if there will be much of value in this.

Smoke and mirrors maybe? being seen to try and do something even if it achieves zero? (might make matters worse of course).




You're right, Steven. Best to sit on your hands here and criticise everybody and everything, eh.

In a couple of years you'll have another opportunity to cast your magic Vote. How much change did that bring for you last time?

In the meantime, the government are screwing up here there and everywhere.

And here's someone who actually DOES something and will go through the trouble of putting submissions - because she believes in the cause. And before you start moaning about this: whether you agree with her or not is irrelevant.


Actually no I dont think it is. She believes in her (libertarian) cause, not my one. In fact given her outlook I am pretty sure anything she achieves is likely to do more damage,  if any real good. 

My vote acheived nothing last time, but I participated.  Will it see JK out in 2017, I doubt it personally. Even if so Labour is no better, if not worse, the green's marginally maybe.



Steven just tell me how much of the system do you have to use, both now and on a regular basis?.......from what I have read of your posts you have never had to make one single application for resource consents or any other consents during your life here in is people who never have to use the system who always want a convoluted system.


Putting in submissions has nothing to do with my political has to do with dysfunctional costly systems!!  You have your home, why would you want to deny others the right to have a home that is not loaded with numerous bureaucratic costs and expenses?? The thing is with true Libertarians they are also humanitarian, this is something others with personal agendas can never be.


And by the way "She" is the cat's mother.  


you're talking rubbish pouggey, sending in submissions to these things either fit expected status quo, or get dumped.   Doing so is as just as ineffective as standing on a street corner waving a sign.    actually on a street corner you might actually stand a change of going media viral, while your submission is just a waste of your time.

Such committees simple exist to rubbish stamp the "required procedural steps" of "consultation"


Unless you have a substantial % of voters behind you, I agree.