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Source: Taxpayers Union

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is condemning Kaikoura District Council and Tararua District Council for failing to identify earthquake-prone buildings, as required by law. Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke says, “These Councils broke the law and failed to execute one of their core duties. Ratepayers will be rightly displeased with their elected representatives and council staff. 36 other local councils managed to meet the key 1 January 2020 deadline for identifying at-risk buildings. Kaikoura and Tararua did not.” “That is unacceptable performance. Both Councils are attempting to blame the pandemic for missing the statutory deadline. No one will buy that excuse. COVID-19 hit New Zealand at the end of February, two months after the deadline had already passed. If the Councils were being impacted by the virus in late 2019, they really should have warned the rest of the country.”“The Kaikoura District Council did find time to build a 118-bed luxury hotel which opened after tourism had stopped. Tararua District Council prioritised a “high tea tour of the district” over earthquake safety.”“Councils should stick to their knitting and obey the law,“ says Mr Houlbrooke.