Rural voices raised on Public Good rate


After discussions with a number of people Russell Hughes who lives in rural Mangaweka intends to organise a petition to Rangitikei District Council asking the council to reconsider the so called Public Good rates that has seen rates climb in the rural sector.

"I object to the Public Good section for the supply of water, waste water, storm water and solid waste, when none of those services are provided to the rated property," Mr Hughes said.

He claims to have being told by a person in the rates department of the Marton office of the council that the changes were to go on to all properties in the Rangitikei to help out businesses.

"Essentially, the towns will benefit from rural ratepayers."

He does, however, agree a minimum charge should apply as rural ratepayers may go into town once in while and use these facilities.

"If council needs the extra money it needs to do like the rest of us, budget better," Mr Hughes said.

"I have spoken to a number of people. A ratepayer in rural Marton told me, this year they had been rated $204.10 for Public Good services but just $76 last year.

"That represents quite a hike for someone who lives out of town."

Rangitikei Mayor Chalky Leary said, The council had made an error in calling the rate Public Good.

"It sent all the wrong signals. However, nothing can change. Not until the new annual plan next year.

"We discounted Mangaweka and Bulls as the change would have been quite harsh. We had not anticipated what would happen with lifestyle blocks. This will be looked into in 2013."

Mr Hughes said, "I am open to any suggestions for help and ideas, it's not a one-man band. We need to group together and send the message to council that we are not happy with the Public Good rates."

He will ask shops and offices throughout the district to have copies of the petition for people to sign.

They will be in place once the wording has been sorted out.

Central District Times