Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Rates Rise ‘worth A Weekly Cuppa’

Gisborne city ratepayers will be short a cup of coffee a week, a district councillor says, with residential rates set to go up by 6.4 percent, on average, from July.

The “cup of coffee” analogy was used by Larry Foster yesterday as the council signed off a proposed overall rates hike of 4.87 percent for the 2021 financial year.

Rates bills will go up by more than 5 percent for 55 percent of ratepayers, with households in the city expected to pay an extra $150 to $200 over the year.

Cr Foster said councillors had just heard about the district’s housing crisis and need for adequate infrastructure, and that most people would be happy to supplement the council’s work by $3 to $4 a week.

“This is our future,” he said.

But councillor Meredith Akuhata-Brown thought “a cup of coffee” was not an insignificant amount for many in the region, saying middle income earners were “feeling it big time”.

Many had not had a pay rise for some time and felt the stress of any additional expense, Cr Akuhata-Brown said.

Nonetheless, she could see the need for the rates increase, in terms of building better infrastructure for Gisborne.

Councillors were presented with the 2020/21 draft annual plan last week but deferred a decision on its proposed rates hike so they could further discuss why the increase was necessary.

The plan sets the council’s rates take for the year to June 30, 2021, at $62.8 million.
The increase has been deemed necessary because of the council’s February 2019 decision to more quickly implement wastewater disinfection, along with the need to employ more staff to process resource consent applications and depreciation on council assets.

At yesterday’s full council meeting, councillors pushed ahead with the rates hike, but the community will now be consulted on the differences between the proposed annual plan and the 2018-28 Long Term Plan, which budgeted a 3.26 percent overall rates rise for 2020/21.

Councillors Shannon Dowsing and Amber Dunn voted against the last-minute recommendation for a consultation document to be prepared.

Cr Dowsing said the council needed to accelerate the second stage of its wastewater treatment plant upgrade to meet impending resource consent conditions.

The upgrade was not optional and suggesting through public consultation that it was up for debate was disingenuous, he said.

But chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said the council had been advised to undertake consultation and community feedback could have an impact on the final annual plan to be adopted in June.

Councillor Kerry Worsnop said public feedback on the plan should have been sought before now and the process looked and felt “messy”.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

Dunne Speaks: It's Time For Matariki Day

The period of Matariki, the celebration of the Māori New Year, which began earlier this week, is being celebrated increasingly as an important national event. While many other countries have their own form of New Year celebrations, Matariki is uniquely ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Shouldn’t Be Pushed Into Re-Opening Our Borders

I believe in yesterday as much as Paul McCartney, but it was bemusing to see the amount of media attention lavished last week on the pandemic-related musings by former government science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, former Prime Minister Helen Clark ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>