WDC mystery – Northern Advocate – 13th June 2012.

What’s the increase?

This month was host to many regions Long Term Plans.  Having attended both days (May 7 & 8) of submissions to the Northland Regional Council (NRC) Long Term Plan 2012-2022  in Whangarei, plus all five days (May 14 to 18) to the Whangarei District Council (WDC) 2012-2022 Draft Long Term Plan submissions, my wife and I along with many others, made our presentations both written and verbally to both councils. 

We also attended NRC deliberations on May 23 and WDC’s deliberations on Tuesday May 29.  It was pleasing to see some winners in the plans and there were also some less fortunate, having less or no funds or facilities made available from these processes.  Compared to previous years that we had observed, councillors appeared more accepting towards comments made during the verbal presentations. 

A most important “process” point to mention was the way that the NRC staff presented to their councillors and the public present, throughout their deliberations. With the aid of a whiteboard, columns displaying projects accepted and rejected, or those under discussion, plus the effects, in both percentages and true dollar terms, on any rate increases these decisions being made, had.  If the increase was too high or low, then changes to projects were duly made and we came away knowing what to expect on next year’s NRC content on the rates demand.  Over the fence at WDC, the white board was definitely there, but not used at all during the deliberations, failing to show any effects on the rates as projects were struck. Actually rates increases in “dollars to ratepayer’s terms” were not mentioned at all; so guess we will have to just wait till the bill arrives in the mail.


Warren Slater