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  Reply # 1299878 7-May-2015 14:30
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Stu: This may be the same/similar throughout the country, however I'm not privy to the Rates and fees situations in other parts of the country.

In Whakatane you pay $158.11 for water whether you have it connected or not (billed separately from other rates), plus $1.28 per m³. Roads, sewerage and roadside rubbish collection are part of the standard rates... as are things like subsidising the library and swimming pool.

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  Reply # 1299883 7-May-2015 14:48
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6FIEND: It seems to me that Auckland ratepayers have been duped!

For as long as I can remember, the justification for collecting Local Body Rates was so that the elected Council could provide core infrastructure that was required for the town/city in question to function.  Commonly given examples of this infrastructure are things like; Water supply, Sewerage handling, Refuse collection, Roading & Transport, etc.




Rates are insufficient to cover new core infrastructure. 

eg, Tauranga, 100k people vs 1.3million in Auckland.   New sewage pipeline costs 100 million dollars alone and we are not even growing quickly. 

So, in Auckland you are probably looking at looking at 50 billion or more in new infrastructure costs (on top of existing infrastruture maintenance and depreciation costs) given the urban sprawl that is going on. 

Rates on the extra 10 thousand houses a year being built is not going to cover this. 

There are lots of examples of frivolous spending too, such as the non-elected maori boards.  These non-elected boards cause additional problems as they impose additional costs and restrictions on the people of auckland. 


Finally- nz is a low wage low budget economy (among our oecd peers)....yet, our engineers insist on the most expensive standards.  I think we should not be building to best practice --- rather , to a level where costs/benefits are better balanced.    While the costs of manufacturing are plummeting the costs of building a simple road is skyrocketing. Something is not right. 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1299892 7-May-2015 14:54
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MikeB4: This is why I maintain and have so for a looooong time, local body Government and administration is way over due for a review and overhaul. I believe Councils be they normal or super city be abolished and the management of cities and towns done by Central Government.


The people complaining that their end of the Super City is ignored by their council would feel extra-super-ignored if they were being ignored all the way from Wellington...

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  Reply # 1299893 7-May-2015 14:54
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surfisup1000:
6FIEND: It seems to me that Auckland ratepayers have been duped!

For as long as I can remember, the justification for collecting Local Body Rates was so that the elected Council could provide core infrastructure that was required for the town/city in question to function.  Commonly given examples of this infrastructure are things like; Water supply, Sewerage handling, Refuse collection, Roading & Transport, etc.




Rates are insufficient to cover new core infrastructure. 

eg, Tauranga, 100k people vs 1.3million in Auckland.   New sewage pipeline costs 100 million dollars alone and we are not even growing quickly. 

So, in Auckland you are probably looking at looking at 50 billion or more in new infrastructure costs (on top of existing infrastruture maintenance and depreciation costs) given the urban sprawl that is going on. 

Rates on the extra 10 thousand houses a year being built is not going to cover this. 

There are lots of examples of frivolous spending too, such as the non-elected maori boards.  These non-elected boards cause additional problems as they impose additional costs and restrictions on the people of auckland. 


Finally- nz is a low wage low budget economy (among our oecd peers)....yet, our engineers insist on the most expensive standards.  I think we should not be building to best practice --- rather , to a level where costs/benefits are better balanced.    While the costs of manufacturing are plummeting the costs of building a simple road is skyrocketing. Something is not right. 



Our building standards are designed to meet the requirements of our environment and are appropriate.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  Reply # 1299896 7-May-2015 14:58
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Behodar:
Stu: This may be the same/similar throughout the country, however I'm not privy to the Rates and fees situations in other parts of the country.

In Whakatane you pay $158.11 for water whether you have it connected or not (billed separately from other rates), plus $1.28 per m³. Roads, sewerage and roadside rubbish collection are part of the standard rates... as are things like subsidising the library and swimming pool.


Hamilton is similar - Refuse, water, drainage, roads, etc are all funded from rates. We've managed to stop them privatizing our water and other basic services so far. Although there are rumblings about installing water meters on all homes, which some point to as an obvious prelude to selling off the water supply.

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  Reply # 1299919 7-May-2015 15:08
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DarthKermit: Len Brown's new train set?


Nope, we are paying extra for that!

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  Reply # 1299927 7-May-2015 15:15
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I'm not a ratepayer (well not yet anyway, deposit steadily growing), but I used to flat with a planner for the Auckland council. I don't know how many there were, but she was on $85k at the time, yet I'd have no desire whatsoever to do her job. She spent her days dealing with ratepayers, builders and developers, being yelled at. Note, I know nothing about planning, but it sounded like they would receive plans or a submission for X, which was ok, then they would receive the final plan and it would be Y, so the process would start all over again. I thought she earned her money!

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  Reply # 1299937 7-May-2015 15:16
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Ive called the "Supercity" council a few times in regards to various things.... only to be told "no idea what youre talking about, talk to your regional office". Which defies the point of having a "Supercity" if I have to call my "local council" for everything...and the rules are different for everyone... 

I just run by Rodney District Council rules now, which appear to still be in play, ignoring the "Supercity".

Yet I still pay the circus.....





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  Reply # 1299945 7-May-2015 15:30
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6FIEND: It seems to me that Auckland ratepayers have been duped!

For as long as I can remember, the justification for collecting Local Body Rates was so that the elected Council could provide core infrastructure that was required for the town/city in question to function.  Commonly given examples of this infrastructure are things like; Water supply, Sewerage handling, Refuse collection, Roading & Transport, etc.

Today Aucklanders have received news that despite long-term rate increases outstripping inflation by an order of magnitude (or more) the monies collected by the council are being spent on nothing of the sort.

Water supply: Nope, you'll need to pay for that separately - Watercare Services will send you a bill.
Sewerage: Nope, as above.
Refuse: Nope*, you'll need to either buy pre-paid plastic bags or hook up with a private provider - Waste Management will send you a bill.
Roads & Transport: Nope, you'll need to pay an extra levy before we can do anything for you there.

All of which begs the question...   What the hell is the $3.5bn collected by Auckland Council spent on??? 
At what point do we drop the pretence, and just acknowledge that we're living in a "User Pays" city?

* I'm speaking as a North Shore Resident...  I am aware that not all parts of the "Super" City are treated equally.




We used to ask much the same questions in the UK, where water, sewage etc have been privatised for decades. Local councils there also pay for and control schooling I believe, but having no kids of my own and never having gone to one of their schools I am not sure how that works.

It's a rip off wherever you are. We pay about $3200 here in Martinborough and get precisely BA for that really - no street lights, no bin collection, poor roads, parochial attitudes to modernisation and that is about it. We even get an extra charge for a stadium 90km away in Wellington! If you go in there to try and sort things out it's like swimming through intellectual treacle.





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  Reply # 1299948 7-May-2015 15:35
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Geektastic:
6FIEND: It seems to me that Auckland ratepayers have been duped!

For as long as I can remember, the justification for collecting Local Body Rates was so that the elected Council could provide core infrastructure that was required for the town/city in question to function.  Commonly given examples of this infrastructure are things like; Water supply, Sewerage handling, Refuse collection, Roading & Transport, etc.

Today Aucklanders have received news that despite long-term rate increases outstripping inflation by an order of magnitude (or more) the monies collected by the council are being spent on nothing of the sort.

Water supply: Nope, you'll need to pay for that separately - Watercare Services will send you a bill.
Sewerage: Nope, as above.
Refuse: Nope*, you'll need to either buy pre-paid plastic bags or hook up with a private provider - Waste Management will send you a bill.
Roads & Transport: Nope, you'll need to pay an extra levy before we can do anything for you there.

All of which begs the question...   What the hell is the $3.5bn collected by Auckland Council spent on??? 
At what point do we drop the pretence, and just acknowledge that we're living in a "User Pays" city?

* I'm speaking as a North Shore Resident...  I am aware that not all parts of the "Super" City are treated equally.




We used to ask much the same questions in the UK, where water, sewage etc have been privatised for decades. Local councils there also pay for and control schooling I believe, but having no kids of my own and never having gone to one of their schools I am not sure how that works.

It's a rip off wherever you are. We pay about $3200 here in Martinborough and get precisely BA for that really - no street lights, no bin collection, poor roads, parochial attitudes to modernisation and that is about it. We even get an extra charge for a stadium 90km away in Wellington! If you go in there to try and sort things out it's like swimming through intellectual treacle.


The Stadium surcharge was supposed to have been removed now as it was short term only but they decided to keep it in place for 'other activity'




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  Reply # 1299966 7-May-2015 15:54
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xpd: Ive called the "Supercity" council a few times in regards to various things.... only to be told "no idea what youre talking about, talk to your regional office". Which defies the point of having a "Supercity" if I have to call my "local council" for everything...and the rules are different for everyone... 

I just run by Rodney District Council rules now, which appear to still be in play, ignoring the "Supercity".

Yet I still pay the circus.....



Realistically, do you think there have been any benefit(s) in merging all those separate cities into one?




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?


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  Reply # 1299973 7-May-2015 16:05
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DarthKermit:
xpd: Ive called the "Supercity" council a few times in regards to various things.... only to be told "no idea what youre talking about, talk to your regional office". Which defies the point of having a "Supercity" if I have to call my "local council" for everything...and the rules are different for everyone... 

I just run by Rodney District Council rules now, which appear to still be in play, ignoring the "Supercity".

Yet I still pay the circus.....



Realistically, do you think there have been any benefit(s) in merging all those separate cities into one?


Nope. Because as I mentioned, I still have to go back to the Rodney council each and every time anyway....  IIRC when Supercity was announced, RDC said they wanted no part of it. But got pulled in anyway....





XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

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  Reply # 1299996 7-May-2015 16:14
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It's a bit like these international call centres (018 directory service as one example) who don't know jack schitt about local issues.

Imagine calling the Philippines and saying "I'd like a phone number for XXX in Whangamomona." yell




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?


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  Reply # 1299998 7-May-2015 16:16
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wasabi2k:
Handsomedan:
tdgeek: Surely they provide a set of accounts. detailing income and expenditure?

Yes they do, but there is precious little that the public can do other than cry loudly in public. 


So has anyone actually looked at these and attempted to show what it is spent on?

I would be interested in some analysis of data, not just general assumptions and complaints without facts.


Actually, yes I have.  I spent nearly a year working for the Council, in I.T. and on their financial reporting systems, covering budgets, forecasts, annual planning and actual spend, which is public and also made available to all 800 budget holders in the council.  You can get this at:

Here is the website:

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/PLANSPOLICIESPROJECTS/REPORTS/ANNUAL_REPORT/Pages/annualreport20122013.aspx

and here is breakdown of expenses





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  Reply # 1300013 7-May-2015 16:48
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There is an Alliance Auckland Ratepayers can join   http://www.ratepayers.nz/

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