Big rates rise stuns Aotea res­i­dents

51-54 Sport

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By TESSA JOHNSTONE

Aotea res­i­dents hit with a dou­ble-blow on their lat­est rates bill want an­swers from Porirua City Coun­cil about where the money is go­ing.

Most Porirua ratepay­ers faced rates rises this year with an av­er­age in­crease of about 5.7 per cent – about $126 a year on a home worth $381,000.

Three- yearly prop­erty val­u­a­tions – which de­ter­mine res­i­dents’ rates – have also just been car­ried out, with Aotea res­i­dents sub­ject to one of the big­gest bumps – an av­er­age 7 per cent.

Aotea Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Rod­ney Strong said it ap­peared rates for res­i­dents in the sub­urb were be­tween 8 and 15 per cent higher than last year.

‘‘It was a con­sid­er­able rates rise and it came as quite a shock to some peo­ple – there was no real fore­warn­ing,’’ he said.

Strong said Aotea res­i­dents did not want im­prove­ments or ex­tra ser­vices spe­cific to their area. They just wanted to know where the money was go­ing.

‘‘Why are we pay­ing so much more to live 30km down the road [from Wellington]?’’

Aotea res­i­dent Al­lan Blithe said he was shocked his rates had risen from about $2800 last year to $3300 this year – a nearly 20 per cent rise.

‘‘We’re cer­tainly not re­ceiv­ing 20 per cent more in ser­vices,’’ he said.

The value of the Blithes’ house had risen from $540,000 to $590,000, but it still didn’t ex­plain the large in­crease.

Other sub­urbs had in­creases, but not nearly as high as Aotea. As­cot Park and Pukerua Bay’s house val­ues went up 3 per cent, Cam­borne was up 1 per cent, and Whitby, Ti­tahi Bay and Can­nons Creek dropped 1 per cent.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said it was un­for­tu­nate Aotea had been hit with such a big in­crease, and the coun­cil should have warned them be­fore in­voices were sent.

‘‘Peo­ple need to know the rea­sons. It’s not about mak­ing peo­ple un­der­stand, it’s just about in­form­ing them,’’ he said.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Fruit for all: Can­nons Creek Su­per Save co-owner Gary Wahid with chil­dren at Nuanua Kinder­garten. From left: Leah Reuelu, Ed­ward Lu­uga, Mataio Sopoaga, Seren­ity Whakaneke and Peter Sim­iti.

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