In my time as the executive director of the Porirua Chamber of Commerce I have tried to encourage all Porirua citizens to become more actively engaged with the activities the various government bodies are engaged in.
While I represent the viewpoints of the local business community, it is clear there is a fundamental lack of understanding within the community regarding how rates are spent locally and why.
The community requests services without the full knowledge there will be a direct relationship between service delivery and rates increases.
Unfortunately, the current rates collection system allows councils to increase the rates pretty much on a whim.
However, at some point in time, the community as a whole needs to take responsibility for the everincreasing costs by clearly telling the council what’s not important.
Now is the time to look at both the various physical boundaries of councils as well as how local and regional government is funded.
A national system which could be applied across the suite of local authorities would only reduce the spend of public money; it would be proportional to the ability of their people to pay. The system should be transparent and remove the ability for local authorities to arbitrarily increase rates.
Good news – this system already exists and it’s called GST. Central government collects tax on behalf of local government through GST. The GST take is relative to the income and expenditure of consumers.
This means those on a lower income who spend less will not be taxed more. Increasing GST from 15 per cent to 18 per cent would erase the requirement for rates altogether, create a fairer system for all and ensure local government funding is proportional to their community’s ability to pay.
I wish Porirua all the best. This is a fantastic city with wonderful people living and working here. I look forward to seeing how you as a community choose to develop over the coming years.
SIMON CALVERT, Executive director, Porirua
Chamber of Commerce.
Eventually the police were called, who then called an ambulance for this lady. Obviously, she was more than distressed.
I have not seen this behaviour in Porirua, especially by group of kids. She was harassed for no reason. It was a cowardly act by a group of kids.
The Countdown bus shelter should be one of the safer places in the city centre. To have a security camera from one of the surrounding outlets cover this area would deter such incidences.
If there were any witnesses who recognised members of this group, could they contact the local police. If left unchecked it will occur again elsewhere in Porirua. If this can happen, what other crimes can occur in broad daylight? D DAHYA,
Porirua. expected to be undertaken by Housing New Zealand on upgrading HNZ housing stock.
Aside from asking why PCC intended to spend ratepayer money on nationally-owned assets, I feel the mayor and councillors owe ratepayers an explanation for diverting this sum to unbudgetted activities.
Surely ratepayers have the right to expect that cancelled projects will release funds for debt reduction and rate rise limitation. BRIAN COLLINS,