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Consumer Report No Comfort For Council

Mon, 14 Feb 2005

Consumer Report No Comfort For Porirua City Council

Porirua City Councillor Robert Shaw says the Consumer article on the performance of councils raises vital questions for the Porirua ratepayers.

He said "whilst it is gratifying to see the council getting stars, these accolades had to be considered against the other information in the report".

"The survey showed that Porirua is the city with the highest level of rates in the Wellington region. And, our rates are incredibly high compared with the rest of New Zealand"

"Only ratepayers in 3 Auckland cities and Wanganui had to pay anything like the level of rates paid by Porirua residents."

"What counts is 'value for money' and so you must judge performance against cost".

"It is easy for a council to look good when it is flush."

The Consumer rates figures actually favored Porirua City because they were based on the average property value in the city. In the case of Porirua the average property value is comparatively low because of the legacy of state housing. If the figures were based on $100,000 of property value we might take the prize for the highest rated city in New Zealand, Cr Shaw explained.

Cr Shaw said he continued to be an advocate for significant rates reduction.

"Our challenge is not to receive stars but to contain costs. Council needs to hit the hard questions of income and budget."

"My proposals for the review of decision-making processes, and a review of spending, would address these issues. Several councillors are well advanced in their thinking on these matters and I hope we are reaching the point where the councillors will be able to make some tough decisions on budgeting"

"If Council adds a top-of-the-line regional recreation centre and a performing arts centre to the existing costs, Porirua will be quite possibly be the highest rated council in New Zealand in the next Consumer survey; and so we have every incentive to act."


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