Cancellation of festival ‘heart-breaking’
After 25 years, the Festival of the Elements has been cancelled. The volunteer group that runs the event say the year-round work in applying for grants and funds is just too much to continue with. Porirua council says there will still be a Waitangi Day celebration but doesn’t have any details yet. We asked Neighbourly users how they felt about it all.
ANTONIA ALLUM, PAPAKOWHAI
This is heart-breaking! It is such a wonderful day that brings the whole community together; all cultures, all ages. And what a great way to commemorate Waitangi Day with something positive, inclusive and forwardlooking. Let’s not let it slip away.
MACE CHONGNEE, TAWA
Wow sad to hear that. Went to it when they first started when my children were young.
NIKKYWINCHESTER FROM PUKERUA BAY
It’s always been a great familyfriendly event. Though the last one didn’t seem to have quite as much going on as previously. Still, it is a lot of hard work to pull together such a big event.
ANGELA BOWYER, CANNONS CREEK
Sad news, we love this day. Ladi6 was awesome this year, although the kids were disappointed there wasn’t any carnival rides - my wallet was happy though. I’m sure our Mayor can come up with something great to replace it.
DAWN HALL, WHITBY
It has always been a wonderful event for families. I felt that it celebrated New Zealand and all of its cultures. Such a shame.
MICHELLE GREEN, ASCOT PARK
Sad to see such an iconic event for Porirua and the people to celebrate this important day go. Thank you to all the unsung volunteers whose precious time and commitment bought this event together every year.
HOUSE RATES INCREASING
The proposed rates increases for Porirua show yet again the futility of voting and why people should not be deprived of their birthright - citizenship as wished for by ex-politicians - if they do not. Personnel changed but otherwise it is business as usual. 4.9 per cent of the approximately $2,500 rates bill I pay is 21⁄ times as much as 4.9 per cent of the lessthan $1000 I had to pay when I first chose to live here. And we are getting fewer services for that exorbitant amount. No annual solid waste collection, no free ratepayer trips to the dump, no rubbish bags included in the rates and so-on. The candidate I voted for made a big deal out of telling us that rates were not rent. Some of us residents don’t even get a living wage these days, yet we are expected to fund salary increases for councillors.
Finally, whoever proposed 4.9 per cent is insulting the intelligence of the unfortunate captive ratepayers. Be honest and call it 5 per cent. (Abridged)
In regard to the Porirua City Council proposed changes to the Revenue and Financing Policy. I have a fundamental objection to differential rating. My history as a commercial ratepayer dates back to 1990 when I bought my first commercial property in Porirua City to set up and operate a business. Due to my naivety at the time I did not check up on the rates component of my outgoings and was blown away by the 365 per cent rating differential between commercial and residential properties at the time. I struggled for many years to cover my costs and remember many debates about how unfair this differential was.
Now I look into the crystal ball and see business being destabilised due to technological upheaval, onerous - to the small business - workplace safety requirements and continual change that is making it a far more difficult environment to operate in. Sure we are in a buoyant period in our economy but I do feel that it is false and purely being driven by immigration and infrastructural spend and will not last.
As a commercial landlord I see first-hand how difficult it is to attract tenants to my buildings. I see costs to maintain them going through the roof. I see costs for compliance going through the roof.
In my world I can clearly see why commercial building capital values have not increased at the rate of residential capital values.
I have lived all my life in this city and own my own home and other residential rental property so I feel that I have a balanced viewpoint. One of my commercial properties has a rates burden of in excess of 20k p.a. Is this not enough? (Abridged)
WHAT YOU SAY