March 27, 2008

Wellington's Regular Rates Rise

WELLINGTONIANS face another rates rises this year. The average rates increase is likely to be around five percent - almost twice the inflation rate. The Council's Draft Annual Report also recommends increases to fees and charges for sports fields, burials and cremations, and swimming pools.

At a time when central government is urging people to get fit the Council is proposing a 10% increase in fitness centre fees and 5% in learn to swim programmes. Pool entry fees are expected to increase in 2009. At the other end of the spectrum burial and cremation fees will go up by an average of 8.5%.

Surely its time for much greater rigour to be brought to bear on Council spending. Perhaps the Council could focus more on those items that promote the city's economic development - such as improved infrastructure in the north of the City - and less on some of the never-ending series of Council-sponsored events or the rate-payer funded sculptures dotted around the central city?

The Draft Annual Plan will be debated and finalised for consultation at a council meeting on March 27. Wellingtonians will then get their say between April 16 and May 19. For more information visit

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