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


Zero average general rates increase tipped

Date: 12 March, 2014

Zero average general rates increase tipped under Draft Annual Plan

Better-than-expected investment earnings and another close look at its budget have the Northland Regional Council signalling a nil average general rates increase for the 2014/15 financial year.

Two years ago, when the council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2012-2022 was adopted it had forecast an average general rates rise of 7.22 percent for the coming year. However, council chairman Bill Shepherd says councillors have just (SUBS: Tues 11 March) signed off on a draft that would slash that increase to nil.

“We’re able to do this through a combination of careful cost management and better-than-expected returns on some investments.”

Councillor Shepherd says the public will get the chance to have its say on the rates issue – and a raft of other measures outlined in the Draft Annual Plan (DAP) – when a month-long submission period begins on Monday 31 March.

He says for a ratepayer in the Whangarei district whose property has a $225,000 land value the nil increase would mean a total GST-inclusive rates bill of $240.45 for the year – or $4.62 a week.(SUBS: note that is the TOTAL rates bill for the entire year will be $240.45/$4.62 a week, NOT the increase.)

A similar ratepayer in the Kaipara district would pay $207.84 in rates for the year ($4 per week) and in the Far North $186.57 ($3.59 a week). (All three figures exclude river management rates and the Kaitaia transport rate which are only levied on ratepayers in affected areas.)

Councillor Shepherd says despite the possibility of some sort of local government reform for the region, if this did occur it would still be well outside the 12 months the DAP covered and accordingly, the draft was very much ‘business as usual’.

He says the regional council is forecasting total operational spending of $29.4 million during 2014/15, $14.8M of which (51%) will be spent on resource management, including legally required 10-yearly reviews of its regional plans for air, water and soil and the coast.

Another 16% ($4.7M) will be spent on transport activity, nine percent on river management ($2.7M), nine percent on community representation and engagement ($2.7M), eight percent on economic development ($2.4M), five percent on hazard management ($1.4M) and two percent ($700,000) on support.

“Our proposed capital spending for 2014/15 is $6.9 million. A detention dam designed to reduce the impacts of flooding in urban Whangarei will account for $3.3M million and Kerikeri-Waipapa River works $2.13M of this, both funded through targeted rates already established under our last LTP.”

Meanwhile, Cr Shepherd says the regional council is also keen to foster stronger ties with tangata whenua and is setting up the Te Taitokerau Regional Maori Advisory Committee in a bid to improve Maori representation. “A working party will work with Maori to establish the terms of reference and membership for this important committee.”

Councillor Shepherd says full details of the work the council is proposing for 2014/15 can be found in the Draft Annual Plan, which the public will be able to comment on from the end of this month until 3pm on Thursday 01 May.

A roughly 12-page summary of the draft plan – complete with a submission form – as well as copies of the approximately 150-page full draft will be available from all council offices or via the council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/haveyoursay during the submission period.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Wikileaks: TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter Released

“If TPP is ratified, people in the Pacific-Rim countries would have to live by the rules in this leaked text,” said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives.” More>>


Redundancies: 120 Laws To Be Repealed

The Statutes Repeal Bill will remove 120 pieces of superfluous legislation, and parts of eight other acts. It is being consulted on before it is introduced to Parliament. “The proposed Bill would reduce the total number of public Acts in force by more than 10%,” Mr Joyce says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news