In the latest edition of BayBuzz Digest, we invited three ratepayers who also have had their hands in local politics or governance issues to offer their views on rates and the role of local government. Here’s what they had to say …

User Pays, Nick Stewart — Nick is Executive Director of the Stewart Financial Group, and served as Finance Chair of MP Craig Foss’ recent election campaign. Nick questions tying council spending on essential services to land values, whether councils should be involved in entrepreneurial activities, and whether debt should be used to fund “cosmetic” infrastructure maintenance.

All Governments Are Failures, Paul Paynter — Paul, a fifth generation fruit grower, is a director of The Yummy Fruit Company. He’s also been taking the Hastings Council to task lately on land use decisions affecting the Heretaunga Plains. Paul believes rates decreases would be possible if councils limited themselves to “back to basics” government.

HDC Budget, Geoff Harman — Geoff has been active in Havelock North Citizens Inc, which recently won a High Court decision against the Hastings Council on the proposed Te Mata Road apartment development issue. But he writes in BayBuzz in his individual capacity, and says the public is in “no mood” for a rate increase.

As with all of our BayBuzz guest writers, these folks have been provocative … you probably won’t have much difficulty finding something to disagree with.


Tom Belford

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