46 days ago

Happy Leap Year for 2024!

Remuera Gardens

Make your new year plans come true. If you’re looking at your retirement options this summer, you should check out Remuera Gardens - a community in the heart of Auckland.

Our two bedroom apartments and serviced apartments are beautifully renovated, with garden views from your own deck or balcony. Sunny and spacious, these homes are perfect for privacy and independence, while household help can also be available to make day-to-day life a little easier.

Why not jump at this chance and come and see us this week!
Call Lyn on 021 845 524 or email lyn.ellis@realliving.co.nz
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More messages from your neighbours
20 hours ago

Poll: Could we live without public bins?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Many public rubbish bins are being removed by councils due to the large costs of regularly emptying them. Do you think we can adapt and live without them?

Type 'Not For Print' if you wish your comments to be excluded from the We Say You Say column of your local paper.

Could we live without public bins?
  • 12.9% Yes
    12.9% Complete
  • 86.6% No
    86.6% Complete
  • 0.5% Other - I'll share below
    0.5% Complete
926 votes
7 days ago

Are you a first home buyer?

The Team Reporter from Stuff

Are you a first home buyer? Is your mortgage going up and up with rising interest rates and you’re now struggling to make ends meet? Have you lost the ability to save any extra cash?

We’re reaching out from the Tova show, the flagship weekly politics podcast on Stuff, as we prepare a special episode on the interest rate crunch and how it’s affecting Kiwis - we’d love to hear your stories.

Please comment below if you would like to share your story, or email tova@stuff.co.nz. We give you our commitment to treat your experience with sensitivity and care.

6 hours ago

Coast regional council flags more user pays

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

By local democracy reporter Brendon McMahon:

West Coast residents face more "user pay" services and a hefty hike in rates under the West Coast Regional Council's proposed long-term plan (LTP).

Chairperson Peter Haddock said the council knew the proposed increases will be challenging for some.

"But if we don't make these changes now, we are just kicking the can down the road."

Ratepayers should brace for a range of rises in the LTP 2024-25, including a proposed 27% general rates increase, a 22.7% rise in the uniform annual general charge (UAG), and jumps in the targeted rates for individual flood rating districts.

The council is also proposing to increase user fees and charges.

"The fairest approach is for those who use our services should pay for them," Haddock said on April 11.

He said the council wants feedback on is how to pay for under-invested council systems and processes, while demand for services "keeps growing".

"We are unable to carry out basic functions and services to meet community expectations, particularly in the back office financial area. This is now starting to seriously affect all ratepayers," Haddock said.

Relying on debt to cover day-to-day operational costs was "not sustainable".

"We have a big programme of work ahead of us so we have tried to lessen and smooth the load by spreading the increase over several years where we can."

The council is consulting a total budget increase of 20.8% for 2024-25, partially funded by borrowing alongside its preferred 27% general rates increase.

The council proposed initially borrowing for some activities until it can return to a stage of paying of debt in the next few years, Haddock said.

The rates had been kept "artificially low" and council had "no option but to take this approach to catch up", he said.

The council believed the alternative 44% rates-alone funding option in 2024-25 would be "unacceptable" to residents.

Formal feedback is also being sought on the future of Predator Free Te Kinga, as its external funding by Predator-free 2050 is due to run out in 2026-27.

Haddock said Te Kinga was "a special project for the region" with gains in species protection, but it needed ratepayer finding to continue.

Other key proposals flagged in the LTP:
* Formal transfer of the ownership of the Grey Floodwall and the Havill Wall (Franz Josef) assets to the regional council -- in line with flood and erosion protection asset management on behalf of 23 rating districts as a core function of council.
* Increases to targeted rates and the UAG.

The UAG will increase from $155.69 in 2023-24 to $192.59 in 2024-25. This fixed charge per property does not discriminate on location or property type.

About 75% of West Coast properties received some benefit from the region's 23 rating districts flood protection assets.

Many needed investment and work to maintain them, "or to potentially increase their standard of protection which will drive targeted rate increases".

That includes a bump of more than 500% for Westport's rating district in the next three years.

Consultation runs from April 12 until May 10, with public hearings anticipated from May 20 before council adopts the plan in June.

The Consultation Document and supporting information can be viewed at www.wcrc.govt.nz....

Copies will also be available to view at the Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika libraries and the Reefton Service Centre from April 15.