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Support for regional strategy, not funding plan

12 September 2006

Support for regional strategy but not for funding proposal

“I strongly support the Wellington Regional Growth Strategy but I must strongly oppose the proposed funding arrangements as unfair to Kapiti Coast ratepayers,” Kapiti Coast District Mayor Alan Milne said today.

“I recognise the need for a sustainable growth strategy. I have actively participated in the forum and the development of the strategy over the past two years and I agree with and support the proposed management structure.

“The economic development of the region is ultimately to the benefit of Kapiti Coast ratepayers but I do not believe the proposed funding arrangements fairly reflect that benefit by comparison with the contributions expected from ratepayers in Porirua, Upper Hutt and Hutt cities” Mr Milne said.

“At the end of this month ratepayers throughout the region will receive a summary of the proposed strategy and they have until the end of October to respond. I hope Kapiti Coast ratepayers and residents will take that opportunity and will look closely and constructively at the overall strategy.

“Many of our citizens either work in the cities to the south or work in local businesses that provide products and services to the south. Economic development clearly meets one of the outcomes of our Community Plan which aims to develop more jobs locally.

“Obviously Kapiti cannot shirk its contribution to a fair share of the costs of the implementation of the strategy because we will benefit from it in a range of ways but the burden of costs is not shared fairly in my view given the economic activity and benefits the other cities will receive compared to us in Kapiti.

“I urge people to read the strategy and to contribute their wisdom and ideas in submissions.

“The strategy presents a vision that is soundly based and clear and which I support,” Mr Milne said.

ENDS

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