The Mapp Report: Getting Real on Rates
The Mapp Report
Getting Real on Rates
North Shore residents are facing rate rises of almost 7% even though many millions of dollars have already been spent by the North Shore City Council to improve the regions storm water and water supply facilities.
Of the $105m to be spent on new capital projects over the next year, $27m of this will be directed towards wastewater, storm water and water supply projects. This is on top of the $21m already allocated to such projects by the North Shore City Council's 10-year plan. A further $31.5m is to be spent on the planning, maintenance and operation of these projects.
However none of this includes the nearly $100m Rosedale outfall pipe.
In the past, improvements to the North Shore's water supply and storm water facilities were required to meet minimum health standards. These projects were essential to protect against widespread pollution of our beaches.
The monster project is of course the construction of a new 2.8km outfall pipe to be built in conjunction with the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant. There have already been big improvements to the Rosedale plant which dramatically improved the quality of discharges -bad smells are a thing of the past! This new outfall project was initially expected to cost $75m, but over the last years costs have skyrocketed to $94m. It must be expected that by the time construction starts in 2008 the cost is likely to be even greater. And there will still be $112m spent on the Rosedale Treatment Plant by 2014!
The big question to be asked is how much of this needs to be urgently spent. Can the cost be spread over a longer period? Lets remember, we do have a critical project that has to be done by 2011. The improvement of the stadium for the Rugby World Cup. There will be fewer options to spread that cost!
The Council has to take a take a sharp pencil to its plans, to keep rates increases to reasonable levels.
Address in Reply
Wednesday, 16 November 2005
Dr Wayne Mapp (National - North Shore): Mr Deputy Speaker, it is a pleasure to see you in the chair in an elevated position from the one you held previously. I would like to congratulate you on that. Frankly, it is disappointing to me that you are not in any even more elevated position. Nevertheless, I offer my congratulations to your colleagues, as well.
This week, for our country, the competition just got a lot tougher. Australia is passing innovative industrial law, and it already has productivity growth higher than New Zealand's. Australia gets 2 percent annual productivity growth. We get about 1.5 or 1 percent. The Prime Minister said in her speech that that is the big challenge. Well, I have to ask the Government what kind of plan it has. The reality is that it ignores the advice of the OECD. The OECD has said that one of the major blockages to growth in this country is our sclerotic industrial law. This Labour Party, in Government, has held our nation back. That is the truth of it. I challenge Parliament" under this new regime, Labour, United Future, New Zealand First, the Greens, the Maori Party, and ACT to change it. I will be introducing a member's bill that will provide for a 90-day probation period. I have heard New Zealand First say that that is what it wants. Mr Peter Brown has said he supports that. Well, he will have the opportunity to actually vote for it. It is the same for United Future, which will also have the opportunity to vote for it. With this bill we will find out whether those parties are the lapdogs of the Government or whether they have independent minds. That will be the real test. The Maori Party knows the challenge of growing the economy as many of its members are involved in small business and know the challenge of getting young people into their first job. They also will have the opportunity to give people a chance. That is what the 90-day probation period is actually about. It is about giving people a chance. This is not some kid of radical measure, as the Labour Party would have the country believe. New Zealand is one of only two countries in the OECD that does not have any form of probation period. I say to the Government that if it is serious about productivity growth, it will unshackle the economy where it counts. Where it counts is in making extra jobs for people who need a break. That will be the acid test for those parties when the legislation is presented to this House.
It will not surprise members to know that over the past few weeks I have received literally hundreds of emails, letters and phone calls from people up and down our country. And there is a common thread. They are fed up with this Government's political correctness. They are fed up with this Government's excessive intrusion into their lives. Actually, Labour might want to reflect on why this position has attracted so much attention. The reason is that people know that political correctness is a real issue. I heard some members in their maiden speeches totally misconstruing what it is about. The public knows that this Government would sooner be engaged in social engineering. For heaven's sake, it is exactly why the Prime Minister came to this Parliament! She wants to remake this country. Has she ever given New Zealanders the chance to vote directly on prostitution? Did any New Zealand get the direct opportunity to vote on that issue? The answer is no. Did any New Zealander get the direct opportunity to vote on civil unions? The answer is no. Poll after poll indicated that New Zealanders did not want those changes. People are sick and tired of social engineering, because it is all about trying to control the way they think and the way they lead their lives. Labour has presided over a project that is intending to fundamentally change this country. That is why I am receiving all of those emails, letters and phone calls. People know that the issue is real.
The education sector is particularly prone to trying to embark on its social engineering project. It is part of the sisterhood Helen Clark has put together for this purpose. It is not surprising that education might be the focus. Why? Because it wishes to change the views and attitudes of young people. How does it do it? It will promote things that might seem innocuous, like sports games with no scores. What could be wrong with that? It helps people participate. That is the idea of the Labour Government. Who gets fooled? No child gets fooled. Children know who won, who lost, and what the score was. [Interruption] The Government junior whip might say: "Scores? What does it matter?" Actually, games are about lessons in life. When sometimes people do not win or succeed, they have the incentive to try harder in the future in order to better themselves. That is actually what competition and success is all about. It is about building on things that do not go quite right and doing better next time. But Labour does not understand that.
Of course, primary school is only where it started. The next step was the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Dr Lockwood Smith has advised me that it was intended that NCEA be competitive and that people would know whether they passed or failed. But under Labour and the teachers union the idea of failure has gone out the window. People do not know whether they fail a subject under NCEA. It is not recorded. An achievement pass is give to those scoring between 45 to 60 percent. I have to ask the Government whether such people pass or fail - whether they knew more of the subject of less of it. Let me tell members that on that basis NCEA is not a preparation for life, for work, or for universities. I have taught at university, and can tell members that in the universities people do pass or fail. It is an important lesson. The people who fail their exams re-sit them in order to do better and improve themselves. That is the reality of the situation. So political correctness is about changing the culture it is actually destroying aspiration. It is about destroying the values of this country, and the public knows that. Labour, of course, is deeply attached, because it wants to control people's lives. Why did my colleague have to assist people in her community to clear mangroves? The reason was that the Resource Management Act, as Bob Clarkson mentioned today in Parliament, strangled the community concerned. Actually, in that particular case it strangled the harbour. The community could not get a consent. So what did the people do? They took direct action. They had no choice about that, because this Government thinks it knows what is best for them. The whole project against political correctness is about restoring power back to the people, it is about giving choice to people, and it is about valuing aspiration and success.
I want to close by returning to my initial theme. This country is in a competition. Our closest competitor is Australia. Australia is doing better than we are. It is passing laws that mean it will do better in the future. It achieves a 2 percent productivity gain each year, which is way better than us. If the Government wants to know the reason why New Zealanders are going to Australia, it is because people have better prospects there. The Government's plan, as outlined in the Speech from the Throne, will not address that. That is why its project is doomed to failure, and that is why New Zealand First and United Future will rue the day they sheeted their fortunes to a failing Government. It is a huge mistake, and they will regret it.
Monday 21 November
Public Meeting on
North Shore Rate Increases.Beginning at 7pm
at the Zion Hall, Methodist Church,
cr. Onewa Rd and Birkenhead Ave
Dr Wayne Mapp
Visit my website for more information at: www.wayne-mapp.co.nz