Weekend Sun column

Friday, May 8, 2015

On Tuesday 12 May I will be hosting a ‘Cut the Red Tape’ meeting at the Historic Village from 9:30am. This is part of the National Government’s Rules Reduction Initiative announced last year.

I often hear from people that rules and requirements around property can be confusing, contradictory and costly. Just last week I met with a constituent facing a lengthy and expensive process to get approval to make alterations to their home.

Often these requirements are out-dated and not fit-for-purpose, creating unintended consequences for property owners. By holding public meetings and hearing first-hand from the people who are affected by these rules, we can improve regulation and remove unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles.

On the topic of having your say, Minister of Defence Hon Gerry Brownlee announced earlier this week that public consultation has opened on the 2015 Defence White Paper.

The White Paper will form the basis of how the Government plans to address the security threats, challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the next 25 years. This is the public’s chance to have their say and influence New Zealand’s defence policy. It will focus on issues such as the changing international environment, the Defence Force’s role in unforeseen events such as national disasters and emergencies, and the military capabilities required in the future to carry out their duties effectively.

You can take part in this consultation by either completing the submission forms on the Ministry of Defence’s website (www.defence.govt.nz) or by downloading and sending the forms by freepost to Defence White Paper 2015, Ministry of Defence, P.O. Box 12703, Wellington 6144. There will also be a series a public consultation sessions, including one in Tauranga on 4 June at the Mount Maunganui RSA (time to be confirmed).