Bor­row­ing not the an­swer

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Porirua City Coun­cil’s Stan­dard & Poor’s credit rat­ing re­flects the city’s abil­ity to re­pay loans.

It doesn’t sug­gest or rec­om­mend the city should bor­row more. The $6 mil­lion op­er­at­ing loss last year, and re­peated in­abil­ity to live within its own an­nual bud­gets and the 10-year plan, strongly sug­gests the coun­cil should bor­row less.

Gen­er­ally, most New Zealand coun­cils score well – if a lender is un­able to re­pay a loan, it can im­pose a spe­cial rate on ratepay­ers. So Stan­dard & Poor’s is largely as­sess­ing Porirua ratepay­ers abil­ity and will­ing­ness to meet a spe­cial rate.

As ratepay­ers have pas­sively ac­cepted rates in­creases greater than in­fla­tion in 27 of the last 30 years, it’s a pretty good in­di­ca­tion we could and would pay a spe­cial rate.

Why has our coun­cil sought a rat­ing?

To bor­row more money, of course. And why does it need to bor­row more?

Be­cause our rates are used to prop up the costs of buy­ing property and land for the CBD re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion, the loss of rental in­come as ten­ants move out, loss of rate in­come (the coun­cil is pay­ing rates to it­self so no in­come), and in­ter­est costs on the funds be­ing used.

As­sets like roads, sew­er­age and stormwa­ter are be­ing per­mit­ted to de­te­ri­o­rate fur­ther, with bandaid fixes in­creas­ing as­set life.

The coun­cil could be far more fi­nan­cially savvy, and Porirua a bet­ter place to live and have a busi­ness, with­out be­com­ing part of a su­per-city. chose to yell out while hid­ing be­hind a group of oth­ers.

I no­ticed the in­struc­tor did not in­ter­vene or at­tempt to stop it.

By not do­ing so, he has en­cour­aged it.

As a leader of the group it was his re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure ad­e­quate be­hav­iour (and safety) was main­tained. He was not there just to col­lect mem­ber­ship fees.

Be­cause the group con­tained mem­bers of all age groups, those mem­bers were also ex­posed to that ‘‘ac­cep­tance’’ of such be­hav­iour.

For any other el­derly per­son, child, teenager etc, it would be out­right in­tim­i­da­tion that was al­lowed to con­tinue and pos­si­bly es­ca­late.

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