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Waitomo District Council NZ's most indebted local authority

Waitomo District Council NZ's most indebted local authority

22 AUGUST 2017

With liabilities four times the national average for rural councils, Waitomo District Council is New Zealand’s most indebted local authority, according to Ratepayers’ Report, the Taxpayers’ Union’s local government league tables, launched today at www.ratepayersreport.nz.

Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says, “Waitomo District Council’s debts of $24,600 per residential ratepayer are astronomical, and the highest in the country. The situation would be even more bleak if not for Waitomo District Council’s comparatively high assets per ratepayer, the ninth highest of any council. Nonetheless, Waitomo District Council should be doing a better job managing what are poor finances.”

When assessed on the other metrics on the league tables, Waitomo District Council also does poorly. According to Mr Williams, “Waitomo has the highest average rates bill of any rural council. At $2,927 the average rates are almost $1,200 more than the $1,763 rates bill under the South Waikato District Council.”

“South Waikato District ratepayers appear to be getting much better value for money. Their Council employs fewer staff per residential ratepayer and has lower operating costs than any other council in South Waikato.”

“Taupo District Council spends the least in South Waikato on staff costs, only $1,157 per residential ratepayer. Again, the highest in the region is Waitomo District Council, where staff costs are $1,835 – almost $700 more per ratepayer.

"Ratepayers' Report is available online and free of charge so all Waikato 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 South Waikato:
• South Waikato District Council charges lower average residential rates than any other council in the region, at only $1,763. This puts South Waikato District Council fourth on the list of the most affordable rates bills in New Zealand.
• Waitomo District Council charges the highest average residential rates in South Waikato: $2,927. This is the most expensive of any rural council, nationwide.
• Taupo District Council has the lowest personnel (staff) costs in the region, at only $1,157 per residential ratepayer.
• Waipa District Council has fewer liabilities per residential ratepayer than any other council in South Waikato, at $2,039.
• Waipa District Council also pays proportionally more staff a salary of over $100,000 than any other council in South Waikato, with 11.29% of staff being paid accordingly.
• Otorohanga District Council has the most assets per residential ratepayer in the region, with $155,063. Nationwide, only five rural councils have more assets per residential ratepayer.
• Waitomo District Council is New Zealand’s most indebted local authority, with liabilities of $24,600 per residential ratepayer.
• Councils Considered for this comparison are Otorohanga District Council, South Waikato District Council, Taupo District Council, Waipa District Council, and Waitomo District Council.


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