Kapiti News - - Letters To The Editor -

Sev­eral cor­re­spon­dents to this pa­per have re­cently ex­pressed well-founded con­cerns with the coun­cil’s pro­posal to en­gage in fi­nan­cial mar­ket spec­u­la­tion as a means for rais­ing in­come. This is an ex­tremely wor­ry­ing pro­posal and re­quires much fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and much bet­ter in­formed as­sess­ment than has so far been pro­vided. The coun­cil’s re­sponse that it is now “too late” to raise ques­tions is to­tally ir­re­spon­si­ble. It is never too late for good fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and it is vi­tal that ratepay­ers’ views and in­ter­ests are prop­erly heard and re­spected on this mat­ter.

We all know the sad his­tory of coun­cil over-spend­ing. This pro­posal breaks the “golden rule” of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment New Zealand that coun­cils “only bor­row for the pur­poses of in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture and fixed as­sets”. It is also rel­e­vant that Ka¯ piti coun­cil­lors and staff have ab­so­lutely no ex­per­tise in fi­nan­cial mar­kets. It is there­fore es­sen­tial that some­one en­sures that ratepay­ers fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests are fully rep­re­sented and pro­tected in such de­ci­sions. Pre­sum­ably the mayor and coun­cil have sought and ob­tained the full en­dorse­ment of the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance (in­clud­ing the Trea­sury), the Min­is­ter of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and the Of­fice of the Au­di­tor Gen­eral to this pro­posal? That would seem to be, at the very least, a sen­si­ble re­quire­ment be­fore un­der­tak­ing what could well prove to be yet an­other fool­hardy in­vest­ment.

An in­de­pen­dent ap­peal is be­ing made to these guardians of our fi­nan­cial sys­tem. Let’s at least hear what they have to say be­fore this goes any fur­ther.



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