Daily Archives: December 6, 2012

Local Government Act Amendment Bill

Federated Farmers
Media Release

Local Government Bill passes, but funding must be next

30/11/2012 4:10:00 p.m.

Federated Farmers welcomes the passage of the Local Government Act Amendment Bill, but more must be done to contain and reduce the rates burden.

“The passage of the Bill is good news for ratepayers. Since 2002 rates have increased an average of 7 percent per year,” Ms Milne says.

“This growth is unsustainable and to rein it in councils and communities need better guidance and clarity on local government spending priorities.

“The Bill does this by changing the purpose of local government away from its activist, open-ended job description towards something more like what most people think local government should focus on: local infrastructure, local public services and local regulation.

“However, the Bill really just tinkers at the margin and will only go part of the way to containing and reducing the rates burden.

“What‘s needed now is funding reform, which so far has been the missing element of the Government’s work.

“It is well known that rates fall heavily and inequitably, with farmers being particularly hard hit. Far too many farmers pay more than $20,000 per year in general rates to fund activities they barely use or benefit from.

“What is perhaps less well understood is that funding policy also affects councils’ regulatory performance, especially when central government makes laws for councils to enforce, but does not provide any resources. The incentives are all wrong.

“We also think limited funding options are a factor in housing affordability, for example when councils impose high development contributions that push up the costs of sections.

“The burden of funding local government must be spread more equitably and that means moving away from the over-reliance on a 17th century system of property value rates and finding new and better tools for councils operating in the 21st century.

“Federated Farmers has always been up for this debate. With growing concern about housing affordability we sense the time is right to make some progress,” Ms Milne says.

For further information contact:

Katie Milne, Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson, 0274 244 546, 03 738 0189

Link to article

Related Post:
24.9.12 DCC against imposition of local government reforms

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Property

Dunedin Hotel – revised design

As advised today, image supplied.

DunedinHotelRedesign

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4.10.12 DUNEDIN: We’re short(!) but here is some UK nous…
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16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel



Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

57 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Name, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

DCC debt —Cr Vandervis

Email received.

From: Lee Vandervis
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 10:12 PM
Subject: DScene opinion.

I thought my DScene Debt Update was not bad for a 400 word limit, but despite coming within the limit [382 words], the Editor cut the Mayoral criticism out of my opinion, and more importantly my solutions to worsening debt, without noting abridgement! {See comment. -Eds}

Dunedin Debt Denial

At last week’s DCC Finance, Strategy and Development meeting where the last quarter’s financial results were presented, Cr MacTavish asked “Are we doing things differently?”

The DCC net debt chart [attached] shows the past ten years of the same massive debt spending, with future projections hoping for small annual reductions.

These future debt reductions are currently vain hopes.

Despite the earnest efforts of our new CEO to reduce ridiculously high DCC operational costs, unplanned extra debt keeps arriving.

DCHL’s planned annual funding profit of $23 million turned out to be a $5 million loss, DVL lost $4 million, DVML lost $3 million, the Milburn Wood Processing Plant suffered a $3 million write-down, the Chinese Garden continues to lose half a million annually, Toitu Settlers losses will dwarf this, another half million at least has been lost due to the Anzac Avenue site access dispute, the expected $5 million ‘saving’ from Town Hall cutbacks has evaporated, the budgeted Carisbrook sale ‘profit’ of $4 million still hasn’t eventuated, and $3 million of unearned dividend has been spent from the Waipori Fund.

Then there are some less obvious reservoirs of mounting debt.

Development Contributions income has stalled for another year, our lines company Aurora has apparently failed to keep up lines maintenance of a rumoured $40 million in recent years, and our unseen drainage system maintenance/renewals backlog may dwarf the Aurora maintenance bill.

In short, we have bought a new Stadium and much else without being able to pay for it.

Standard and Poor’s threaten an interest-increasing downgrade especially if the Jacks Point/Luggate debacle blows up, and the fuse has already been lit.

To answer Cr MacTavish’s question, we are not yet doing things differently.

The direction of this Council remains unsustainable. Soothing talk by our Mayor Cull of ‘no drop in service levels’, ‘no slash and burn staff cuts’, ‘no witch hunt’ of directors, ‘no heads will roll’, means that the same heads will continue to inflate Dunedin’s debt disaster.

We must do things differently and cut service levels, staff numbers, consultant use, habitual tenders, outside directorships and bring our DCC owned companies’ governance back in-house where we can know what they are doing. [cut out by DScene Editor without noting abridgement]

In a rapidly changing world, it is only by doing things differently that Dunedin can reach its wonderful and sustainable potential.

[ends]

DScene 5.12.12 Debt-laden council needs to change tack #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design