Local Elections 2013
How your rates bill affects your everyday life
7am: You wake up and go to the bathroom to use the toilet and shower. You make breakfast and set the dishwasher going.
Water - getting it to your house and taking waste and stormwater away - makes up the majority of your rates bill, at $1100 a year.
7.50am: You remember it's rubbish day, so rush the yellow bag and recycling to the kerb in the nick of time.
The council is in charge of waste management, including selling rubbish bags, managing landfills, and running the recycling system and collection. This costs you $3.28 a year - plus the price of buying rubbish bags.
8.30am: You drive into the city for the day. Before going to your office, you park outside your favourite cafe for a coffee meeting, paying $4 an hour to park.
Local roads, bus and cycle lanes are maintained by the city council. Parking is also managed by the council, which sets fees and fines and contracts out management services. The transport system accounts for $203.31 of your rates.
10.30am: During your morning break you nip over to the library to pick up a book you have reserved.
The council funds and manages libraries, costing you $137.10 a year.
12pm: In your lunch hour you pop over to Wellington Hospital to visit a friend.
Wellington Hospital is overseen by the Capital & Coast District Health Board, to which you elect members.
2pm: You leave work early and head to Wellington Zoo to meet your kids at the end of their school trip.
As well as the Zoo the council helps fund Zealandia costing $42.03 a year for both, and also helps Te Papa, City Gallery, museums, and Westpac Stadium. A further $195.32 goes to gardens, beaches and green open spaces, like the Town Belt, walkways, beaches, reserves and local parks.
3.30pm: You drive to Kilbirnie so your kids can attend their sports practices - one has swimming lessons, another plays football, and the third basketball.
The council owns the ASB Sports Centre, and also manages sports fields and pools around the city, costing ratepayers $183.46 a year.
5pm: Driving back into the city, you pass Wellington Airport and drive over tsunami evacuation lines.
The council is a major stakeholder in the airport and a councillor sits on the board. $56.09 from your rates goes to public health and safety, including funding for the Wellington Emergency Management Office.
6.30pm: You take your partner into town for date night, enjoying a meal at a top restaurant before heading to see the latest World of WearableArt show at the TSB Bank Arena.
The council is responsible for monitoring public health regulations, including licensing and monitoring cleanliness in eateries, costing you $13.76 a year. TSB Arena is one of six council-owned venues, and the council also sponsors major events such as the Sevens and WoW and has a company to promote tourism. Altogether $31.46 of your rates goes to city promotion and business support.
10.30pm: You head home, but make sure to have a stroll along the waterfront first - the perfect way to finish the day.
The council's company Wellington Waterfront is charged with developing this part of the city - and it costs you $18.15 a year.
In addition to the services above, the council also maintains cemeteries; provides social housing; oversees playgrounds, parks, public toilets, and city safety officers; and gives grants to community organisations.
Rates costs are based on Wellington city's average household rates bill of $2324.34 a year in 2013-14.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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