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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

"Money Matters" - Yes BOPRC it sure does..

Regional Councillor Jane Nees, in her editorial last week, posed the question “Where do we find the funds?” saying that Local Government has a major funding problem. ANSWER: No it doesn’t. It just has to stick to its core business, and concentrate on effectiveness and efficiency. The trouble is that while Central government has forced government departments into zero cost budgeting, Local Government has continued on with its “cost plus” mentality – with no respect to the ratepayers that are paying the bills.

The Regional Council has increased its income from $76.9m in 2010 to $94.6m expected in 2015. That is a 23% increase in total income, with rates having risen 67% in that same period. This is plain outrageous, because while the Regional Council might be doing a good job on environmental protection, I certainly can’t see how this increase is justified. What is more, in their Long Term Plan, they expect income to increase to $110.1m by 2020/21, with rates increasing to $48.5m. That is an increase of 14.6% in total income, BUT a staggering 42% increase in rates collected. This is a Regional Council that is completely out of control.

We could blame the staff, but the truth is that this outrageous behaviour is sanctioned by our elected representatives on the Regional Council. They have no understanding of the “obligations of governance”. They sanction a CEO (and her Senior Leadership Team) who lead a Regional Council that is out of control – NOT out of funds. Our Regional Council is extremely wealthy, with close to $1.3 billion in investments and no net debt. Cr Jane Nees – your duty is to your shareholders (and that is us Ratepayers), so please do what you (and your fellow elected representatives) are paid for – stick to your knitting, and rein in this outrageous and unaffordable bureaucracy. Ratepayers have had enough!

If you have a view on these or any other local government issues, I invite you to email me at

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