Rates in Woodend – and Oxford and Rangiora

A friend has sent me an email which said, amongst other things:

I do not agree with you with negative comments about the present Council.  I believe that Woodend rates increase are lower than Rangiora and Oxford, and that is about time. Major spending is/and has taken place in Oxford and Rangiora in comparison with Woodend, and we were faced with large rate rises in Woodend by the last Council for nothing local in return.

 I think that the present Council has done a magnificent job in containing our rates and starting to redress the imbalance between facilities for Woodend and the rest of the District.

I have responded in this way:

The main reason why rates went up steeply in the last council term in Woodend (and in Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Tuahiwi and Waikuku Beach) was that the new Eastern Districts sewer scheme was built and, of course, rates went up as a consequence.  Woodend did get something in return – better sewage treatment and disposal!  One of the features of sewer rates in this District is that they are not rates-in-the-dollar of land value.  They are paid for by uniform charges, which mean that those paying lower rates originally, get larger percentage increases in their total rates when raised charges are imposed.

 The rates in Rangiora and in Oxford are going up further because new water sources have to be paid for.  I support both of these schemes, so I support the consequent rise in rates.  The problem I have with what has happened is that some candidates at the last election promised to keep rates down, then got elected and then tried to stop or considerably delay decent water supplies for Oxford and Rangiora.  Incidentally, much the same group of councillors is resisting adding to the Woodend Community Centre to the extent that the advisory group wants.

What we are getting now is the spin that rates are going up on average 3.5%.  This is true, and rates increases never hit evenly across the District. I just wish the people who are getting substantially higher increases would be told that it is happening and why.


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One Response to “Rates in Woodend – and Oxford and Rangiora”

  1. Kirstyn Barnett Says:

    Hi David, just wondering if your friend could elaborate on what exactly Woodend has received under the new Council in their comment that they are “starting to redress the imbalance between facilities for Woodend”.
    As far as I know the only extra facility approved in this term has been a half basketball court in one reserve, which was approved out of left over Parks and Rec budget and councillors were never asked to approve. he new draft annual plan has actually removed allocated spending for a town centre plan, and only provides for a third of the monies required to “fix” the Community Centre so that it serves the purpose for which it was originally intended.


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