15 May 2017

Kāpiti residents fight rates rise

2:28 pm on 15 May 2017

Kāpiti residents are urging their council to hold off on a 5.9 percent rates rise.

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The Kāpiti Coast District Council has proposed a 5.9 percent rates rise. Photo: 123rf

The Kāpiti Coast District Council is hearing submissions on its draft annual plan, which includes the proposal, today and tomorrow.

In written submissions, dozens of people said the increase was well above what they could afford on their superannuation payments.

One of them, Gwynn Compton, said the area's rates rises were continued and excessive and would start driving retirees away.

Another resident, Victor Heslop, said his rates bill had nearly tripled in the last 18 years and the increases had to stop.

But the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce said the increase was necessary, to catch up on economic development.

The bulk of the increase would go towards funding debt and depreciation.

Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Heather Hutchings said Kāpiti was Wellington's growth area, but it experienced a daily brain drain when the bulk of its professional workforce commuted to the capital - where they spent their money.

"We just need to go to our local railway station in the morning to see the mass exodus of Kāpiti people going to the city to work. Many of these commuters would prefer to be working closer to home. The issue is that there are minimal positions relevant to their expertise."

She said a business attraction and retention plan was needed to create good jobs for locals.

The 5.9 percent proposed average rise compares to a 5.5 percent increase in Christchurch, 2.5 in Auckland, 3.6 in New Plymouth and 3.3 in Wellington.

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