Archive for July, 2010

“Fawlty Towers” a Lot of Fun

30 July 2010

He’s From Barcelona, You Know

We went to the Rangiora Players’ production of Fawlty Towers tonight.

Three familiar episodes before a near-capacity house in the Rangiora Town Hall – a great way to spend a Friday night!

Amalgamation Not On The Agenda – Prime Minister Says

30 July 2010

Report from Radio New Zealand:

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide wants a re-think of the roles and size of all local councils in New Zealand.

Mr Hide says a review of the constitutional status and functions of local government will look at how to get rid of red tape.

The minister told Morning Report on Tuesday that he wants to empower local councils, saying they should be recognised as an independent and autonomous tier of the Government.

Mr Hide believes the changes in Auckland will drive a change in how central government deals with local bodies.

However, Prime Minister John Key says the Government has no plans to push for local government amalgamation in areas other than Auckland, where reforms will result in eight councils being merged into one in November.

Mr Key says there were serious problems in Auckland that needed to be addressed. While there may a case for consolidation in other parts of the country, he says he would prefer it to be community led.

While it is clear that changes in Canterbury are likely in the functions of  the Regional Council on the one hand and the District/City councils on the other, such changes can occur without changes to the boundaries or number of local bodies.  There are a number of conceivable scenarios.

See also my previous post:

Can You Vote Early if You Are Going on Holiday?

28 July 2010

Voting in Local Government elections is postal – and there is a voting period of about three weeks. 

The short answer to my question, howver, is that unfortunately the legislation does not allow early voting. 

The only option is for these people to advise the Electoral Officer (contact details below) by email of the overseas address that he can change on their electoral roll to post the voter pack to them direct.  They will then need to vote and post them back with the right stamps in that country to get back to NZ in time, i.e. par avion mail.

This email must be with Warwick Lampp by 28 August, which is their cut-off for sending the database to their printer.

Warwick Lampp  |  Electoral Officer – Waimakariri District Council
Election Hotline 0508 666 998  | Ltd
Level 1, 506 Wairakei Rd, Christchurch  |  PO Box 39163, Christchurch 8545
P +64 3 377 3530  |  F  +64 3 377 1474  |  M  021 498 517
E  |  W

Media Statement on Council Transparency

25 July 2010

I released the following statement to the local media this evening.

 Council Needs to be More Transparent says Ayers

 “Many Waimakariri ratepayers are opening their rates accounts and getting a rude a shock,” says Mayoral Candidate David Ayers.

 “The reason for the shock is that the Council’s political leadership has not been transparent with its ratepayers.

 “Obsessed with being able to say that they have kept rates down to an ‘average’ of 3.7% they have not warned many that that their rates increases will be considerably higher than that.

 “Why wait until the rates demands are posted and let those ratepayers find out for themselves?

 “The Waimakariri Council needs to be much more open and transparent.” Said David Ayers.

 Far above the ‘average’ 3.7% are Oxford Urban rates averaging a rise of 10.7%, Rangiora Urban  7%, Ashley-Sefton 11.4%, Cust 6.1%, Fernside 7%, Mandeville 6%, Ohoka 7.7% and Summerhill 11.4%.

 “Most of these increases can be easily explained and in all case there are good reasons, “said Cr Ayers.  “The Council political leadership needs to take the ratepayers into their confidence.”

 For all ratepayers there is an increase of $58 per year in the pools charge as a result of the new Dudley Park Aquatic Centre and an increase of $27 per year for parks and reserves.  “Because they are charged uniformly for each property, the percentage impact on lower-rated properties is greater than for those who pay higher rates,” said David Ayers.  “This explains the dramatic percentage rise in the average Ashley Sefton property and in some other areas.”

 In the cases of Oxford, Rangiora and Summerhill the greatest impact comes from the cost of new water schemes – in the case of Oxford already in place, under construction in Rangiora and due for Summerhill in this financial year.  “All three of these schemes are needed, and in fact I and three other councillors fought hard to get them back into the programme, but again the Council’s political leadership could have forewarned the ratepayers more than two months ago when the Annual Plan was completed.”

Compass FM to hold an Open Day

25 July 2010

Compass FM, North Canterbury’s long hoped-for Community Access radio station is holding an open day on Saturday 31 August from midday to 3.00pm.

The station has studios in Rangiora’s High Street, upstairs in the Manchester Unity Building behind the Lotto Shop.

Visitors will have the opportunity to record station announcements that will be used during the station’s test transmissions.

Currently the station is able to transmit using a lower power transmitter that reaches about 10km from Rangiora.  Only music is being broadcast at present, but when the station is operating on full-power from a transmitter to be located on Mount Grey, it will be a full community-access station offering time to any and all of North Canterbury’s huge number of community groups.

Kaiapoi Art Expo Again a Success

25 July 2010
John and Lynda Meyer at the Expo

The Kaiapoi Art Expo has again been a great success.

A wide range of artists from beginners to professionals were on display and quite a lot was sold.
Much credit needs to go to an energetic committee chaired by Dan Gordon.

Llew Summers Exhibition at the Chamber Gallery

25 July 2010

The Chamber Gallery in the Rangiora Library is featuring recent work by the well-known Christchurch sculptor, Llew Summers.

You can also see one of his larger works on the lawn outside the Library.

Summers’ work has often sparked controversy, but many have found his work both beautiful and challenging.

The exhibition runs until 12 August.

A Great Way to Finish the Holidays

25 July 2010

The KidsFest Fair was once again a buzz of junior entrepreneuralism!

Book Sale in Southbrook – Now On!

16 July 2010

The Rangiora Rotary Club’s booksale is now on at the Southbrook Sports Club pavilion at Southbook Park.  It started Thursday morning with customary scrum of the quick and the keen – the photo at the right shows the scene when it had settled down!

There are still thousands of books left.  The sale finishes Saturday noon (17 July).

All proceeds go towards the Rangiora Rotary Club’s $30,000 commitment to the Dudley Aquatic Centre.

Business Associations Contribute A Lot

14 July 2010

The District’s three business associations – Kaiapoi Promotions Association, Our Town Rangiora and Oxford Promotions – contribute a lot to the District. 

They basically organise the annual Christmas Parades, arrange other promotional events in the three towns and help the Council on matters involving the business communities.

After struggling for a couple of years, Our Town Rangiora is now up and running again.

From a Council and community perspective, I believe we need active and strong business associations.  Business is an important generator of employment and wealth in the community and we need to make sure that Council policies and planning are conducive to business growth.

Valuations and Rates

14 July 2010

This morning’s Press has the headline on the property page “Property Valuations May Decline.” It is referring to a Christchurch revaluation that is occurring this year.  Waimakariri’s next valuation is due in 2011.

Does this mean that rates wil also decline? 

Not necessarily.  If your property’s valuation goes down, the rates will only go down if your decline is greater than the average decline across the District. 

If your valuation decline is less than the average, your rates will actually increase, all other things being equal.

If your valuation goes down at the same rate as the District average, your rates will stay the same – again all other things being equal.

My proviso about all other things being equal relates to the fact that other things can change too, e.g. the mix of uniform charges vs rates in the dollar, what ECan does to their rates, the total amount the District Council decides to take or a change in the basis of rating from land value to capital value.

Hot Club Sandwich at Rossburn

10 July 2010

Last night we had a great evening listening to Hot Club Sandwich perform their mixture of jazz and folk and country (they’re not easy to classify – mainly jazz) at Rossburn, Rangiora.  A lot of their stuff is very funny.

 Congratulations to Arts on Tour for lining them up, and Dorthy McClennan and Sandra James for bringing them to the District.

They can be found at .

Photography Exhibition in Oxford

8 July 2010

A documentary photography exhibition at the Arts in Oxford Gallery is well worth a look.  It has come especially from the North Island, so if you are close (aren’t all of us in Waimakariri?), pop in.

Wellbeing North Canterbury

7 July 2010

Wellbeing North


is the new name for the Waimakariri Community Development Trust.  They’ve been around since at least the 1980s, starting life as the Kaiapoi Community Development Trust.  They do a lot of things – find out more at their new website – .

How’s Our Air This Winter?

7 July 2010

High pollution nights – so far this winter

All monitored areas are included so that Kaiapoi and Rangiora can be compared with the rest of Canterbury.  You can check daily at on the ECan website.

Location Pollution Level Yesterday No. of High Pollution Nights Highest Pollution Level 2nd Highest Pollution Level
Rangiora 63 6 91 63
Kaiapoi 51 15 98 80
Christchurch – St Albans* 25 6 72 71
Christchurch – Burnside** -1 1 62 49
Christchurch – Woolston 28 5 100 71
Ashburton 49 4 64 64
Timaru – Anzac Park* 60 28 148 124
Timaru – Washdyke 26 3 56 54
Waimate 39 5 97 69
Geraldine 48 2 58 57

This Week!

5 July 2010

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