The Herald reports:
A Ngapuhi leader is calling for a nine per cent economic development tax to be levied on everyone living inside the iwi’s boundary as part of its treaty claim.
Matarahurahu hapu chairman David Rankin said the proposed flat tax rate, which would be administered by the Inland Revenue Department, would “pull Ngapuhi out of a depressed state” and ultimately benefit the entire region.
He would like it to fund social and economic development projects such as aquaculture programmes, and make Ngapuhi as prosperous as iwi like Ngai Tahu and Tainui, which benefit from rich resources in their regions, he said.
Before people get too excited over this, I should point out that David Rankin does not speak for Ngapuhi. He has a long history of saying things which range from the stupid to the even more stupid.
However, there had also been “one or two” members of the Ngapuhi Runanga, who administer the claim, who expressed their strong opposition and threatened to bar Mr Rankin from speaking at Waitangi Tribunal hearings.
So this is clearly not a formal position of the Iwi.
I won’t even bother to speak to the fact that such a tax would never be agreed to. I want to point out the economic stupidity of it.
If you have a 9% tax on economic activity in Northland, that will not help the region – it will kill it. People will leave Northland in their droves if the tax rate in Auckland is 17.5% and in Northland it is 26.5%.