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Rates Issue Splits Council Down The Middle

The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION

The campaign fighting the Auckland Regional Council's rating polices and rates increases.

15 March 2004

ARC VOTES NOT TO ADOPT DRAFT PLAN.
RATES ISSUE SPLITS COUNCIL DOWN THE MIDDLE.

Statement from David Thornton

The decision this morning by the Auckland Regional Council not to adopt its Draft Long Term Council Community Plan 2004/14 has thrown the council's rates setting process into disarray. The council is now seeking legal opinions on what options it has to respond to a situation where, by a vote of 6 - 5, the council has effectively no Draft Plan in place on which to consult the public on setting the rates for the next financial year commencing on 1st July.

I firmly believe that the relentless pressure put on the ARC by the ongoing ratepayer protests is finally forcing some ARC councillors to accept the folly of last years rating policies. At today's meeting several members expressed deep concern that the council was preparing to approve a Draft Plan for consultation which kept last years policies in place with an all round increase of 3.2% on last year's rate. A call was made to adopt an option which included changes to the transport rate and, more importantly - the introduction of a business differential. This option would see rate reductions for most residential ratepayers. When chair Gwen Bull refused to accept that motion the council then voted not to adopt the Draft Plan. The vote today reflected the absence of two 'pro-business' members, councillors Barnett and Little.

The council is now awaiting a report to next Monday's council meeting when the consequences of having no draft plan and no rating proposal will be addressed.

Today's outcome is a direct result of the combined individual efforts of those thousands of ratepayers who withheld all or part of their rate, and the thousands more who supported them by sending an avalanche of protests to the ARC during the rebellion campaign. ends

Contact, campaign spokesman, DAVID THORNTON [Chairman of the Glenfield Ratepayers] email david@Kandu.co.nz


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