Residents hit by large rates rise
Peter Rutledge and his wife are going to have to find another $ 180 a year as Porirua City Council’s rates rises bite.
The average rates increase for residents will be 5.76 per cent. Rural rates are down 1.56 per cent on average and commercial rates up 3.3 per cent.
The council adopted its annual plan last week. It included some changes after public submissions.
Rutledge said the impact would be felt keenly around Porirua. The Paremata resident, who is retired, made a submission about the council’s spending.
‘‘I’m paying over $10 a day for my rates and what am I getting for it?’’ he said.
‘‘The tenor of council spending has changed. It used to be, ‘ We are spending people’s money’ and now it’s, ‘ Let’s spend what we think we should’.
‘‘Some of the decorative lamps around the city are a waste and the sister cities’ budget leads to an annual junket.’’
Rutledge said people on fixed incomes would feel the pinch of the impending rates rises.
He said he and his wife would have to adjust their budget, but many would struggle to do so.
Plimmerton Residents Associ- ation chairman Dave Anderson said he knew of residents who lived close to the water in the suburb and paid $7000 a year in rates.
‘‘Rates keep rising, but the council justify it each year.’’
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said the average rise would be between $1.95 and $3.75 per week for most residential properties.
‘‘The council has tried to keep rate increases as low as possible by limiting new projects in this annual plan,’’ he said.
‘‘However, we face significant challenges delivering levels of service people want, with tight budgets and rising costs.’’
Support for a bike track on Colonial Knob ($ 40,000), funding for Wellington Free Ambulance ($ 30,000) and $50,000 to investigate flooding issues in Hongoeka are among the extras added to council’s budget in the next 12 months.
Other costs the council is facing over the next 12 months include land purchases and beginning the construction of two roads at Whitby and Waitangirua that will eventually connect to Transmission Gully.
Justified: Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett says rates have been kept as low as possible.