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More Accountability Better Infrastructure Needed

More Accountability And Better Infrastructure Needed

"I want the Council to be more accountable, and to focus on its core business of fixing our infrastructure without the huge rates rises that are currently being proposed," says Greg Harford, who has been nominated for election as an at-large councillor for the Kapiti Coast District Council.

"I am standing to make a positive difference for Kapiti. I recently coordinated a petition against the rates rises proposed in the Choosing Futures community plan and there was a clear message from the people I spoke to about rates. People have had enough and are neither willing nor able to pay endless rates increases. Even those who rent properties in the district are affected by rates increases as they will ultimately be reflected in rents paid to landlords.

"My wife and I are expecting our first child in December, and I know how important it is that Kapiti remains both affordable and family-friendly. Current councillors have voted for significant rates increases every year, as well as huge increases in Council debt. This will be hard for people on fixed incomes, such as the elderly and beneficiaries, as well as people with young families who are already working hard to make ends meet. I want to scrutinise Council spending so that only those projects that ratepayers are really prepared to pay for actually proceed.

"It is simply absurd that the Council is pursuing projects that ratepayers either do not want or can't afford to pay for.

"We do need to start on the Western Link Road to improve traffic flows, as well as developing a sustainable solution to our water problems. But we also have to recognise that the incomes of residents do not go up automatically every year and there is simply no reason for rates to do so.

"The Council should take positive steps to reduce household reliance on our uncertain water supplies by creating incentives for the use of alternative water sources such as tanks for gardens, and developing greater storage capacity.

"I look forward to robust debate over the coming campaign, and I hope that Kapiti ratepayers will vote for me in my quest to make the Council more focused and accountable on the things that matter."

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