Oh, how easy it is for politicians and bureaucrats to make new rules and impose new levies.
And oh, how hard it is for ordinary people to find the route to any kind of redress or reversal.
When the CAA and Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee imposed their cost increases last year, some of the afflicted sought the help of the Commerce Commission.
No luck. “We don’t deal with that sort of complaint”, said the Commission.
Then GAA’s Des Lines (working with the support of 576 other signatories) sent a carefully researched set of submissions to Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee. After long deliberation (well, to be more accurate, a long time passed but the deliberation was short), his submissions were rejected by Chairperson Hon. Maryan Street, on the grounds that Des wasn’t specifying any particular regulation for the committee to review.
Back to the drawing board… and the submissions are now back on Ms Street’s desk for a second look by the committee. This time, though, there will be more for the committee to read, because Des has discovered additional evidence and precedents. And the signatories have risen to 620.
There are three complaints:
♦ A claim (under the Civil Aviation Act 1990 – Reprint as at 1 October 2012 Part 3 – Rules – Section 34) that the consultation process was flawed
♦ A claim (under Standing Order 315(2) (c) – Unusual or Unexpected Use of the Powers) that the $313 application fee for a medical breaches Standing Orders, and
♦ A claim (under Standing Order 314(4), relating to the Civil Aviation Charges Regulations (No 2) 1991 Amendment Regulations 2012) that new hourly charges clearly reflect unacceptably inefficient operation by the CAA
We are also taking a similar three-part case against the CAA to The Ombudsman.
GAA says that the review should be redone – and this time, properly – the medical application fee be abolished, and other charges reversed and refunded and (at the very least) Transport Minister Brownlee puts an end to the CAA’s inflation in general aviation costs, planned for the next two years.
In the meantime, please remember that if enough people put enough pressure on enough MPs, for long enough, statistics prove it can change minds – particularly as election time draws ever closer.
As one flying wit has remarked: “Brownlee and the CAA are making it even harder for me to buy back what I already own, such as Solid Energy and Mighty River Power…”