Today they are voting on the Taniwha tax

Today the Auckland Council is voting whether to partially repeal its ‘mana whenua’ rules in the Unitary Plan. The rules currently affect around 18,000 property owners around Auckland and often requires them to get a ‘cultural impact assessment’ from any number of the 19 mana whenua groups recognised by the council. This cultural impact assessment is known as the Taniwha tax.


In order to gain approval to add a window to a 17-storey building Sir Bob Jones had to consult 13 different iwi groups, but it is affecting residential ratepayers too.

In April the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance joined with a consortium of other groups to launch the Taniwha Tax report, exposing these rules and showing how they amount to an unjustified spiritual tax.  The Council provisioned 3,600 sites for protection – but the Council hadn’t verified if the archaeological features even existed!


Auckland homeowners have to dig deep to pay iwi to assess whether a “cultural impact assessment” is required for resource consent applications.

Every week we’re hearing stories of Auckland homeowners having to dig deep to pay iwi to assess whether a “cultural impact assessment” is required for resource consent applications. People are having to pay for consultations on not only history, but matters of ‘metaphysical’ (i.e. spiritual) significance.

…the Council is voting on whether to remove a third of the 3,600 ‘sites of significance’. This is because Council officials never checked that the sites even existed. Sites that have been visited and photographed by volunteers suggest that many simply cover carparks, buildings, and in one case an old rubbish dump!

…Even the Archaeological Association says these rules aren’t needed to protect heritage.


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