Rat­ing sys­tem un­fair

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

Let’s stop pussy-foot­ing about; the whole rat­ing sys­tem is a con with no pre­text of fair­ness.

We pay the sec­ond high­est rates in the coun­try and the rea­son is sim­ple: Most of the homes in Porirua are state-owned and the oc­cu­pants pay no rates.

Come elec­tions, this ma­jor­ity vote for the can­di­dates who prom­ise the most, and why not, it costs them noth­ing. We mugs, who have worked hard and saved to build or buy our own homes, are lum­bered with ex­or­bi­tant rates to cover the whims of the ma­jor­ity who have par­tied up big time and take ad­van­tage of the cor­rupt sys­tem.

The only fair an­swer is two words: user pays. Look about you at the fi­nan­cial wastage that is billed to the ratepay­ing mi­nor­ity, whether or not they want or use them.

The coun­cil should con­cern it­self with es­sen­tial ser­vices such as wa­ter, sewage, rub­bish col­lec­tion, and leave other spe­cialised ser­vices to the users to pay for.

Un­der the present sys­tem I pay the same rates as an­other house­hold with 10 liv­ing it. They use 10 times the wa­ter and gen­er­ate 10 times the sewage, and 10 times the rub­bish, etc, etc. Where is the fair­ness in that?

I was gut­ted to learn that while we have been strug­gling to meet the ex­or­bi­tant rates bills, the coun­cil has been squir­relling away $6 mil­lion for ‘‘beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of the city’’. That in it­self was bad enough, but when it came to spend­ing our money, the level of cor­rup­tion re­ally showed its ugly head.

Only se­lected res­i­dents – those in favour of the or­gan­is­ers’ plans – were in­vited to the pub­lic meet­ings ar­ranged to field ideas on the re­vamp of Taka­puwahia. Even af­ter one meet­ing had to be aban­doned through lack of (se­lec­tive) ad­ver­tis­ing, mat­ters re­mained the same and only those sym­pa­thetic to the or­gan­is­ers ideas were in­vited to the sub­se­quent meet­ings.

The fi­nal meet­ing was an­nounced at the penul­ti­mate meet­ing but when I went to it the door was locked. It had ob­vi­ously been shifted so only those of the right view­point got their say.

One thing that we did in­sist on was ‘‘no cab­bage trees’’. What did we get? Cab­bage trees, shred­ding their fronds over the sur­round­ing area and wreck­ing lawn mow­ers.

Funny that the coun­cil pro­hibits these from its refuse dis­posal sites.

All I can say is, roll on the su­per city. Self­ish I know, but at least the sub­sidy of non­ratepay­ing res­i­dents will be spread over a wider area and our rates will re­duce. A coun­cil with wider re­spon­si­bil­i­ties is bound to be less waste­ful and look to­wards the greater good of the re­gion.

Let’s find a fairer sys­tem where only those who pay rates have a say in how their money is wasted, or bet­ter still, rate the res­i­dents of state-owned houses so they share the cost.

- T PHILLIPS, Taka­puwahia. (Let­ter abridged) im­por­tant dis­cus­sion that Porirua res­i­dents need to en­gage in, prefer­ably with en­thu­si­asm. - JOHN BURKE,

Mana. about petanque? This is hugely grow­ing but there is no fa­cil­ity.’’

Please note Ken, there is a round petanque court at Aotea La­goon on the lawn to the east of the la­goon. There is also a group that play cro­quet on the ad­ja­cent lawn. I know they are both usu­ally played on a Fri­day morn­ing at least.

I am won­der­ing how many coun­cil­lors ever go there. There are also rose gar­dens (where wed­dings of­ten take place), a fern­ery, pic­nic bar­be­cue ar­eas, a great kids’ play­ground and a chil­dren’s train runs all the way round some week­ends.

Apart from the duck pond, the main la­goon is fre­quented by blue herons, shags and geese, etc.

Per­haps if he knew all these things were al­ready tak­ing place, Ken wouldn’t have been so keen on a wake­board park spoil­ing what is al­ready there. MAR­GARET HUGHES,

Ranui.

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