No decision on stadium until ratepayers protected
THE nationwide CAMPAIGN TO REPLACE THE PRESENT SYSTEM OF COUNCIL RATES WITH A FAIRER SYSTEM INCLUDING RESTRAINTS ON COUNCILS ABILITY TO INCREASE EXPENDITURE WITHOUT THE SPECIFIC APPROVAL OF THE COMMUNITY
22 November 2006
Ratepayers Say No Decision on Stadium Should Be Made Until Full Funding Details and Guarantees Are in Place to Prevent Rates Being Demanded for Stadium Costs.
Trevor Mallard and Dick Hubbard have promised that council rates would not be used to fund any share of stadium costs which the government will require from local government.
Despite those assurances ratepayers are still fearful that rates will become the underwriting source if other fund-raising fails, and to cover likely cost overruns.
David Thornton, founder/organiser of NoMoreRates, has today made submissions to the councils involved, and to the Minister, asking that no stadium decision be made until funding is firmly in place – and that this funding specifically excludes any demands on ratepayers.
Extract from submission document ;-
“This submission is made on behalf of thousands of ratepayers who support the NoMoreRates campaign, many of whom have expressed their deep concern that they may face rates increases to pay for a stadium and its ongoing costs.
“While the debate rages about planning, environmental issues, economic transformation and Auckland CBD regeneration, and 101 other issues – the debate about funding and ownership has not yet received the scrutiny it demands.
“In view of the uncertainty about costs there are huge financial risks involved – risks which no responsible business would take without much more detailed information.
“There should be no decision on the preferred location of the World Cup Final stadium until there are firm commitments on funding – irrespective of what the final cost may be.
“In view of the wide disparity in cost estimates for the current options any expression of preference would be made without funding information which itself will be – or should be – a determining factor in the selection process.
“The commitment required from government must cover the two elements of costs;-
- All development and construction costs, including any land acquisition and any compensation payable to any party, and
- The cost of maintenance over the projected life of the stadium, including depreciation, and operating costs and any operating losses.
“The commitment must be cast in stone and must not place any financial demands on ratepayers.”