Food for thought

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

I see that Porirua City coun­cil­lors have made a sig­nif­i­cant and strate­gic gov­er­nance cost cut­ting decision (KMN, March 20) to re­duce the num­ber of rub­bish bins in Porirua. Was this be­fore or af­ter their con­sid­er­a­tions of the sand­wich fill­ings and the length of the sausage rolls in the staff cafe­te­ria? AL­LAN BLOOM­FIELD,

Pau­ata­hanui. in­fra­struc­ture, like roads, water, sew­er­age and stormwa­ter, PCC con­sis­tently spends less than the amount re­quired to main­tain the sta­tus quo. In the last decade, in­vest­ment has fallen fur­ther, and the LTP takes this to new lows.

Some roads may next be resur­faced af­ter 2050, and some water pipes will have to last an­other 100-200 years. In con­trast, Porirua has and con­tin­ues to in­vest heav­ily in non­core in­fra­struc­ture and projects, at sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal and on­go­ing cost to ratepay­ers.

Many pro­ceeded de­spite public op­po­si­tion, were dis­cussed and ap­proved in se­cret, and failed to meet ini­tial op­er­at­ing cost and rev­enue pro­jec­tions. All against a back­ground of rates rises con­sis­tently in ex­cess of in­fla­tion.

Porirua is a $60m busi­ness. Don’t we em­ploy more man­agers and con­sul­tants on pack­ages over $100,000 per head of pop­u­la­tion than any other city in NZ?

And have the high­est bor­row­ing per head of pop­u­la­tion, when you con­sider most of the loans don’t re­late to core in­fra­struc­ture?

Given the size of our city, the rates we pay, and the top heavy over­paid man­age­ment struc­ture, ratepay­ers are right to de­mand the high­est stan­dards of pro­fes­sion­al­ism, trans­parency and cost ef­fec­tive­ness.

Thank good­ness for the few who ask ques­tions, chal­lenge state­ments and study pub­lished fi­nan­cial data.

If we keep on the same track, we will even­tu­ally have roads lit­tle more than tracks, third world water, sew­er­age and stormwa­ter, con­trast­ing with a shiny Pataka, Te Rau­paraha (with new roof?), swim­ming pool, a new per­form­ing arts cen­tre and head of­fice, and a CBD with empty (mostly) new shops, of­fices and wa­ter­side apart­ments, with tenants and own­ers en­joy­ing sub­sidised rents and rate hol­i­days.

And lots of well paid PCC man­agers and con­sul­tants to man­age the em­pire. All funded by res­i­dents and busi­nesses, pay­ing higher fees and rates, and ser­vic­ing more loans.

Like me, J Ter­rence [KMN, March 20], you won’t be fund­ing most of this fu­ture.

But pity your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren who will be.

AN­DREW WELLUM, Cam­borne.

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