3 May 2012

Rates to double for some in Kaipara District

11:43 am on 3 May 2012

Kaipara District Council is proposing an average rate increase across the district of 31% this year but ratepayers in one Northland town face a much larger rise.

Kaipara District Council has announced the rates increase as it struggles with debt of more than $80 million.

About $53 million of the deficit relates to cost blowouts in the Mangawhai wastewater project.

Mangawhai Ratepayers Association chairman Bruce Rogan says rates for most ratepayers in Mangawhaiwill double. He says a rates strike is already underway in Mangawhai.

Mayor Neil Tiller says his council is not happy about inflicting massive rate rises on householders but has no choice.

He says the increase will be especially tough for people on fixed incomes, though some could be helped by the council's hardship policy which defers rates payment until a property is sold.

The council's borrowings have given it the highest per capita debt in New Zealand.