Ratepayer seeing red at erosion plans

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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A Waikanae beachfront property owner is refusing to pay his full rates bill until Kapiti Coast District Council reviews its contentious coastal erosion predictions.

More than 500 beachfront residents are contesting the new 50- and 100-year predicted shorelines, which are based on hazard assessments by council consultant Roger Shand.

The predictions, affecting 1800 beachfront properties, have been included in the district plan, now out for consultation. Many owners believe their land values and insurance will be affected.

Civil engineer John Harding, who owns a bach in Field Way, next to Waimeha Reserve and the Waimeha Stream outlet, has told mayor Jenny Rowan he won't pay his full rates bill - due this week - until Dr Shand's "flawed" hazard assessment of the inlet is reviewed.

He has sent the council a cheque for $758.89, which is 75 per cent of his $1011.85 rates invoice. "Our land value has been badly damaged [by the hazard lines] with no justification," he said.

Dr Shand had told him he had not known there was a council stormwater drain in the reserve next to his property, and recommended more work be carried out on the Waimeha Inlet analysis.

"I am struggling to see why we should pay our rates in full if KCDC is not prepared to follow Dr Shand's advice. Why doesn't the council show good faith and follow the advice of its expert consultants?" Mr Harding said.

"The identical 50-year managed and unmanaged lines across the reserve clearly do not make any sense. It is nonsense."

Ms Rowan said council officers had discussed matters with Mr Harding.

"Our officers have also liaised with the Greater Wellington regional council staff concerning matters related to Waimeha Inlet . . . and organised information sessions where he has been able to talk to coastal scientists and local representatives."

She encouraged property owners to question any property-specific issues through the district plan process.

"If Mr Harding chooses not to pay his full rate instalment, as required by law, he will incur penalties, as would any other ratepayer in the same situation."

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- The Dominion Post

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