A ratepayer I know sent me the following rant awhile back. He’s a university grad, built a successful business here in Hawke’s Bay … as best I can tell, a sane and reasonable fellow.
But as he says below … “I am a barbarian.” And he’s annoyed about Council spending … in this case, HDC. So as we close in on the deadlines for Annual Plan (budget) submissions, you might give him a listen. I don’t agree with all he has to say. But I will say he expresses a point of view I do hear a lot as BayBuzz editor.
From The Barbarian …
Next time you drive past the Haumoana dump take a look at the charges board. I took a tandem trailer there recently with several bins of free recycling stuff (30%) and other farm type materials that had built up and had to be dumped. $50!
This is up from about $12 a few years ago and since the HDC outsourced the operation to Walmsley the prices have shot up. Haumoana is not a wealthy community and it is a long drive to Flaxmere.
Where do you think much of the local rubbish is being dumped? The poor polluted Tukituki. My neighbours on nearby Tennant Road say they see numerous laden utes/trailers head down the river late at night and mysteriously return empty ( turning their lights off as they pass houses to avoid ID).
We get no sewage, water or rubbish collection out here. And now a dump that is priced beyond the average person.
What do my rates pay for that I consider necessities and council core business?
I go fishing, to the beach, visit friends, host BBQs, go to the river (less now, as it smells), ride motorbikes with the kids, shoot rabbits – cool outdoor stuff. And there are SO MANY in HB just like me – that’s why we like it here.
I am a barbarian – I don’t:
- Go to the library (all my reading is either purchased as books or online)
- Go to the Opera house – a wonderful facility for those interested
- Go cycling around in circles in lycra – a great sport but not for me
- Go to the museum – the past is the past – not for me
- Go to galleries of any sort – a tree will always be more beautiful to me than man’s representation of it
- Go to Splash Planet – We have never been – and why has the council funded such a commercial venture?!
I condone multi-use sports parks that constitute a bit of a stadium, netball, tennis courts around a big grass paddock. That is a useful facility for many and all (they are hugely utilized especially in the winter weekends) – historically the result of donated land and community sponsorship.
- What percentage of rate payers actually utilise these other very expensive facilities? (How many and how often?)
- How much would our rates drop if councils returned to truly CORE business?
- Can we have a referendum on what people want councils to spend on – on a card listing all non-core spending options. We could allocate $X of our notional $100 to the things we want the council to spend on (excluding core utilities).
The results would I am sure be interesting, because the elite seem to get all the say … but they are not the population.
It is horrifying to think that if I decided to become a hermit on my own debt-free land and never go anywhere, pump my own water, grow my own food etc., I would still have to pay rates – in my case $2,800pa – just to keep the monopoly running.
Wipe the council, sack all the staff and begin again with a brand new Charter. Whaddya recon?
Barbarian or otherwise, you must have a view on Councils’ spending. Make it known!
Submission deadlines: Hastings and HBRC, May 10; Napier, May 16.