Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Options on Undergrounding Telephone Lines


Options on Undergrounding Telephone Lines

Whether to raise rates to pay for power and telephone lines to be put underground is a question the community is being asked in North Shore City Council's draft 2004-2014 City Plan.

The draft plan, which is currently out for consultation, offers three options for overhead lines, which can pose a road safety risk and are considered by some to be obtrusive and unsightly.

The price of a better view is an estimated $280 million.

Mayor George Wood says the decision on undergrounding will have an effect on how the city looks in future.

"It may make our city more attractive, but we want to know whether people want to pay for that through higher rates," he says.

"Traditionally, the undergrounding of services in North Shore City has been staged to complement roadworks, beautification and other upgrading work undertaken around the city. The undergrounding programme has been funded by dividends from UnitedNetworks Ltd."

When the former Waitemata Electric Power Board was split up in 1994, North Shore City Council and neighbours Rodney District and Waitakere City were given a beneficial interest in shares in the new lines company, UnitedNetworks (now owned by Vector Ltd). Until the shares in the utility company were sold in late 2002, the councils' combined 10.7 per cent stake was held by the Waitemata Electricity Trust, which is administered by the UnitedNetworks Shareholders' Society as the trustee.

"With a premium price offered this council considered it wise to sell our stake for $67m and put the proceeds towards repaying debt and funding capital works such as transport projects, wastewater upgrades and parkland acquisition," George Wood says.

"With the shares sold, there are no dividends to put towards the undergrounding programme. This is why we're asking the community whether they want us to continue the work and, if so, to what extent."

Option one in the draft City Plan would see no further undergrounding done - other than when a road is widened - and no additional rates increase.

Option two would see $1m a year spent on undergrounding in places where there are road safety benefits, and mean an increase of 0.9 per cent on the average residential rate. Option three - undergrounding all power and phone lines over the next 70 years - would cost $4m a year and result in an annual 3.5 per cent rate increase.

The focus in recent years has been on undergrounding power and telephone lines in commercial areas, on beachfronts and along major roads when they are being upgraded.

Undergrounding has also occurred in some residential areas of Devonport, Birkenhead, Albany, Milford, Takapuna and Glenfield.

Consultation on the draft City Plan ends on April 22. The full plan is available on the council's website www.northshorecity.govt.nz, or can be viewed at council offices and libraries.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news