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West Coast councils offer value for money

West Coast councils offer value for money

22 AUGUST 2017

The West Coast councils come out well in Ratepayers’ Report, the Taxpayers’ Union’s 2017 local government league tables, launched today at www.ratepayersreport.nz. Ratepayers in Westland District pay the region’s most expensive average residential rates bill at $2,185 per year, the only average residential rates bill on the West Coast above the nationwide average for rural councils ($2,132).

Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says, “Westland District Council charges the highest average residential rates bill, has the highest operating costs per ratepayer, and has the highest debt per ratepayer of all West Coast councils, but still compares moderately to national averages. Grey District Council leads the way with what appears to be very efficient use of public money.”

“Similarly sized Grey District Council can afford to charge lower average residential rates, since it has the lowest total operating expenses per ratepayer of all West Coast councils. Grey District also pays a lower proportion of its staff a salary of over $100,000 compared to neighbouring Buller District and Westland District Councils, with only seven percent of staff receiving such remuneration. This results in Grey District Council having the lowest staff costs in the region, at $704 per residential ratepayer.”

“While Westland District Council has the highest debt per ratepayer in the region, third highest of all rural councils across New Zealand, at least the Council has significantly more assets per ratepayer than both the Grey District and Buller District Councils.”

"Ratepayers' Report is available online and free of charge so all West Coast ratepayers can judge for themselves the performance of their local town hall."

Ratepayers’ Report available at www.ratepayersreport.nz

Note: All references to rates in the above comments, refer to residential rates.

Other findings relating to the West Coast region:
• Buller District Council charges the lowest average residential rates in the region, at $1,835 per year. Grey District Council charges $1,894 and Westland District Council charges $2,185, the most expensive in the region.
• Westland District Council pays proportionally more staff a salary in excess on $100,000 than any other West Coast Council, with 12.28% of staff receiving such remuneration.
• Grey District Council has the least assets per ratepayer ($61,823) and liabilities per ratepayer ($5,682) in the region.
• Councils considered in this comparison are Buller District Council, Westland District Council, and Grey District Council.


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Election Day Results

2017 General Election - Preliminary Count

National won 46% of the vote with Labour on 35.8%.

NZ First won 7.5%, with the Greens on 5.8%.

ACT held on to Epsom, but failed to get more MPs.

The Maori Party were wiped out of Parliament.

There are still special votes to be counted, but clearly National is in the box seat to form the next Government.

The Greens can not contemplate a deal with National.

So, Winston Peters will have to make a choice and could back National or a combined Labour/Green coalition.

The most likely result is National and NZ First will reach some sort of deal to form the next government.

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