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Wairoa Ratepayers in for Nasty Surprise

MEDIA RELEASE

Wairoa Ratepayers in for Nasty Surprise

21 MAY 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wairoa ratepayers should be furious with the Wairoa District Council for misleading thepublic on its forecast rate hikes. Earlier today the Taxpayers’ Union discovered that statements by the District’s Mayor and CEO that rates are forecast to increase by 5.43% are fanciful. The real figure is in fact 15.9%.

“We wrote to the CEO asking him to justify the 5.43% figure as our analysis, based on the Council’s own draft annual plan, shows that overall rates will increase nearly three times that amount."

“Late this afternoon a Council official confirmed to the Taxpayers’ Union that our analysis is correct. The 5.43% figure excludes new targeted rates for two wastewater schemes. Instead of saying rates are increasing by 5.43% with an additional 10% for brand new rates, they conveniently left out the second part.”

“We labelled the distinction as ‘cute’. The Council official preferred to describe the wording as ‘loose’. Either way this is such a basic flaw contained in the draft annual plan's cover note, that it potentially undermines the validity of the consultation process."

The discrepancy and calculations are explained on the Taxpayers’ Union website. The source documents containing the misleading statements by the Mayor and CEO are also available.

"This is one of the poorest Districts in the country. We are shocked that the Mayor and CEO have been so misleading. They must think the public are mugs. It took our analyst five minutes to work out a figure that the Mayor and CEO should know intimately."

ENDS

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