On the 23rd February 2021, a public meeting in the hall discussed the history where (although not apparent on the rates invoices) many properties in the greater Whenuapai area have received a 20% for life-style properties and 10% discount for residential properties, in recognition of the lower standard of “services”.
Although there was a strong lobby from the R & R, local MP Chris Penk, Albany Ward Councillors John Watson & Wayne Walker, and the UHLB, the main Auckland Council voted 13/8 to have all rates at the 100% level. The only concession was that this be introduced in phased steps over four years.
John presented a Powerpoint highlighting various aspects, including
- Rates breakdown
- Open swales/ditches
- Kauri Road is main feeder to herald Island and Whenuapai Village, but is deficient
- Bus service.
- Septic tanks versus reticulated sewage.
- No waste-water service.
- Cultural centre is defined as the tiny Herald Island fire station
- This is NOT a leisure centre nor a “cultural centre”
- A 15 minute drive is not appropriate in this “carbon zero” era and some people do not have access to a car.
Similar situation for Herald Island.
- Submissions to be made by as many as possible and identify that the submitter is personally affected.
- Spread the word to as many as possible..
- Invite mayor and/or officers to visit and see for their own eyes.
- (copy the submission to the relevant R & R)
Other points raised:
- Wayne Walker identified that at least the submission from the R & R be well researched
- He will inform about the preliminary decision when it is made.
- Could try saying the existing say 90% is too much ! As no future provision is being made in the 10-year plan for capital expenditure for infrastructure
- Compare with other suburbs regarding facilities
- There is a need to inform the actual decision-makers – as there is a risk that otherwise “foot-soldiers” will influence.
- Photographs etc can be attached to on-line submissions.
- Council budget has been affected by COVID-19, but so are individual ratepayers.
- Decision would be made in July and the rating would apply to the next rating period.
- Wayne Walker suggested a video on social media could have real impact.
Meeting closed 8:45 pm
John Watson (Albany Ward) , – rates
John Watson explained that the Auckland Council long term plan proposes to move the Rural Urban Boundary such that the area of Herald Island and “Whenuapai” would be “urban”, which would affect about 900 properties, meaning a 10% rates increase and with other planned normal increases this would mean about $200 increase per household, on the claimed basis that these areas get the same services as the rest of Auckland..
- Community facilities (libraries, pools etc) within 15 minutes drive.
- Stormwater, footpaths, kerb/channeling etc, same as other urban areas.
- (Bus service might be a moot point).
- The owners of the property should receive a letter from AC inviting submissions. The Herald Island R & R are endeavouring to have all residents submit.
- John points out that submissions should be made by as many people as possible.
- John noted that a submission can be done by post or on-line.
- He urged the R & R to submit.
- Wayne Walker spoke and supported John’s presentation
- John offered that he and Wayne Walker could assist with a concept template for submissions. This would highlight the lack of facilities in the area.
- John noted that supply of city water and sewage can be claimed by AC that this is “user-pays”.
- Andy Milne asked if the AC will take any notice of submissions.
- Margaret Miles suggested that copy of the submissions should also be sent to individual AC councillors.
- 22nd March is the cut-off date.
- Nicholas noted that the new Whenuapai housing area also have a grievance.
- The “development contribution” is supposed to assist in the respect of “open space” but the reality comes in budget constraints.- AND might be applied in the wider region.