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Author: Flemming H Rasmussen

LTP futile without accountability

1. Accountability: Ms Beston is of the opinion that our locally elected Councillors are not responsible (accountable) for the enforcement of their 2023/24 11.6% avg. rate increase or this year’s proposed 12.9% avg. rate increase. In Mercury Bay, our rate increases avg. 15-16% in both years. She argues this is “comparatively well done” by comparing us with Napier (23.7% increase). Conveniently, she omits to mention Napier Council faced real 2023 adversity of “natural disaster“ proportions. They are literally rebuilding (think the Esk Valley). Water: Similarly, the argument continues that a...

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A fish rots from the head down

LOCAL INDEPENDENT LAWYER 1. THEIR EVER-INCREASING REQUEST FOR MORE MONEY (WHERE IS THE MONEY TREE?) During a cost-of-living crisis, our elected representatives increased our rates by a whopping 11.6% (avg.) last year (2023/24). They now propose to repeat the feast with a 12.9% (avg.) increase (2024/25). In Mercury Bay the proposed increase is 16.3%, topped only by Coro-Colville at 17.3%. Thames’ proposed rate increase is 9.9% Yet, somehow, in the LTP, we are to believe our rates (including this year’s avg. 12.9% hike) will average 5.1% p.a. throughout the LTP – less than half of yearly...

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TCDC’s Social Services Extravaganza – Proposed 2024/34 LTP $4.4m Spend

1. Context TCDC  – After the 2023 extreme weather events, central government (Wellington) supported our district. One area of support was funding through a temporary government storm recovery grant. TCDC used part of the grant to employ “social navigators or social connectors” You might have seen some driving around in TCDC-branded cars in the last +12 months. Recovering from the extreme weather events required extraordinary initiatives. The timing and funds of the grant were well received. The social navigators have performed important tasks in aiding our district in getting back on its feet. By...

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Leave social services to Wellington

By delineating these roles clearly, TCDC can enhance efficiency, improve service delivery (reduce cost), and ensure better outcomes for us, the local fee and ratepayers. That way, we all avoid paying more than is required for services we need, value and are prepared to pay for. Local New Zealand government entities are pivotal in delivering essential services to communities. The extent of their responsibilities, particularly concerning social services, is debatable. As ratepayers and fee payers, we fund local government. As taxpayers, we fund central government. I advocate a change in focus...

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Money does not grow on trees – from a concerned resident and ratepayer

I am not sure we are getting good value for our money for what we are spending. Back to Basics: We, the ratepayers and residents, pay the rates and fees. We are the customers. Council can and should not spend money we do not have (sound financial management). Know what your customers want (priorities and wishes). Know what your customers are prepared to pay for. 1. A financially illiterate council: We have a financially illiterate TCDC council making long-term decisions on our behalf, spending our money. For anyone elected as a councillor, the priority is understanding...

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