74 days ago

Waimak may have lowest rates rise in Canterbury

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Northern Outlook

By reporter Keiller MacDuff:

Waimakariri District Council has proposed the lowest rates rise in Canterbury, but it will mean deferring $120 million of projects.

The council reviewed all its current projects to find the savings in its draft 10-year plan, which is out for consultation from Friday to April 15. This plan sees an originally-proposed 19% rates rise more than halved to 8.94%.

Projects slated to be pushed back, or scaled back, include:

- The aquatics strategy, which would have included a hydrotherapy pool for Kaiapoi and a hydroslide at Rangiora at a cost of $15m.
- Environmental projects, such as better physical access, more toilets and walking tracks in parks and reserves, and rangers to work with community groups and tackle weeds and pest control.
- Decisions on sports facilities such as the Southbrook Sports Club upgrade and development of the cricket oval.
- A permanent infrastructure resilience team and flood recovery fund.
Upgrades of the Trevor Inch Memorial Rangiora Library and Civic building.

The council is asking if the community is prepared to pay for two major roading projects, which could result in an average rate increase of $56.62 per household per year if the government does not provide an anticipated $15.5m.

The draft LTP warns of a high level of uncertainty around NZTA’s funding for the Rangiora Eastern Link, which is intended to reduce congestion through Southbrook, provide an alternate link to State Highway 1 and allow for housing and business growth to the east of Rangiora; and to replace the narrow Skew Bridge in West Kaiapoi.

Mayor Dan Gordon said it had been a challenging budget, but the council’s proposal was “prudent and responsible”.

He said cost pressures were inevitable given rising inflation and the impact of increased insurance, labour and construction costs.

Even with the deferrals of “non essential projects”, the council proposes spending $693m over the next decade, between replacing assets, increasing services and accommodating anticipated growth, Gordon said.

The district’s population of about 71,000 is projected to reach 100,000 by 2050.

The Christchurch City Council’s draft long-term plan (LTP) proposes an average rates increase of 13.24% from July, Hurunui District Council has proposed a rates rise of 12.37%, Selwyn residents face a proposed average 16% rates rise, while regional council Environment Canterbury has floated an average rates rise of 24%.

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9 hours ago

Powerline tampering/theft across Christchurch.

The Team from Canterbury Police

Police are appealing for information following recent incidents of powerline tampering and theft across Christchurch.

Over the last 10 days, Police have been notified of increasing reports of powerline theft and tampering.
Incidents occurred in multiple central locations such as Disraeli Street in Addington, the area surrounding Hillview Road and Phillips Road in Phillipstown and Brougham Street, they are as wide spanning as West Melton, Halswell, and Marshlands.

Police have informed Community Patrol and Frontline Police units on what to look out for and have communicated with businesses and residents in affected areas.
Police are also engaging with local scrap metal dealers as part of the investigation.
On multiple recent occasions powerline tampering and the theft of copper from the powerlines have led to power outages on affected streets.

Typically once the offenders get what they want, the powerlines are left in an exposed and dangerous state. In one occasion powerlines were tampered with and left broken outside of a Phillip Street Preschool. Fortunately, no one has been harmed, but as far as Police are concerned it is only a matter of time.

Senior Sergeant Roy Appley says: “Our message to offenders is to stop this behaviour before someone, including yourself, gets hurt.
“You are putting yourselves and others at extreme risk of electrocution, for such a small return.”
We are appealing to the public for any information that could assist in identifying and locating those involved.
“If you hear anything out of the ordinary overnight, do not think nothing of it.
“We need Christchurch residents to be aware of the risk of exposed or damaged wires – do not touch them and call Orion on 0800 363 9898 straight away,” says Snr Sgt Appley.
Police urge residents to ring 111 immediately if you see anyone acting suspiciously around power poles and lines, or 105 after the fact