Where should local rates be spent?
them directly, or at least their close community. This is understandable as it’s a propertybased tax. But how directly do ratepayers expect that return to them? We frequently hear the call that Rodney rates should be spent in Rodney. How about Warkworth subdivision rates spent in Warkworth? Obviously the finer the line you try to draw on it, the more impractical it becomes. We generally accept that our rates need to support wider regional infrastructure, coastal and environmental management, where it would make no sense to draw a boundary line.
The biggest objection to rates spending is on transport, due to the apparent focus on central city projects like cycle lanes and light rail, because Rodney appears to miss out on much needed investment in infrastructure, road sealing, rural road maintenance, and public transport.
All of the local board’s priorities for spending are worked up through public submissions, deputations, and requests. Just as with any household budget, we need to cut our cloth, so the Rodney Local Board is focussed on doing a few things really well.
Have we got it right? To know, we need as many people as possible to make a submission on the Mayor’s Ten Year Budget, and our draft annual budget. We need a good number of submissions to sample public opinion on this and will only determine next steps on the result of those submissions.
We are gauging support on: Completion of a master plan for the future reserve at Green Road, Dairy Flat; Contributing funding for the design of the future multisport building at the Warkworth Showgrounds; Funding and supporting community projects to improve our town centres; Contributing funding to construct a local indoor court facility at Huapai Domain; An annual targeted rate of $150 to bring forward road sealing, footpath construction, and park-n-ride facilities earlier than currently planned. Of course you are welcome to make any other comments. Full details will be on akhaveyoursay.nz
Rodney Local Board chairperson Beth Houlbrooke.