News

May 13, 2021

Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance calls out Commission “spin” on proposed rates increases

The Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance is urging the Commission to stop the spin and come clean on its proposed rates hike. Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Kim Williams said:

“The Commission’s claim that they are proposing to increase rates by only ‘one dollar per day’ or ‘two bottles of milk per week’ is misleading at best.”

“Tauranga City Council’s Long-term Plan summary document conveniently leaves out the proposed 30% increase in water rates – an additional $118 per year for the average user. It also neglects to mention the increase to user-fees by an average of 17% which would add a further $100 per year to a resident’s cost of living.”

“That’s an increase of $612 or 172 bottles of two-litre milk per year for a typical household; half of ratepayers will be paying more than that and some significantly more.”

“Tauranga average residential rates are already among the highest in the country. Now, commercial ratepayers are facing a massive rates increase of between 27% and 41%. It won’t just be a question of milk bottles for them; they’re looking at the cost of a whole farm.”

“We need an honest conversation about what the Commissioner’s proposals are going to cost Tauranga families. Undercooking the figures, or deliberately skipping over the measures the Council wants to take to reach deeper into our pockets, does informed debate a disservice. The Commissioners appear too willing to act like politicians, rather than a-political bureaucrats we’re paying them the big bucks for.”

May 07, 2021

Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance reveals Council’s continued blowout on personnel costs

The Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance is exposing plans that will see the cost of consultants and contractors employed by Tauranga City Council skyrocket from $16.5 million last year to $23.3 million this year. Commenting on the information – released to the Ratepayers’ Alliance under official information law – Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesman Matthew Gill said:

“This is yet another burden on ratepayers who are already footing the huge increase in Council staff salaries from $66.3 to $80.5 million this year.”

“It was particularly misleading of Commissioner Stephen Selwood to earlier defend skyrocketing Council staff salaries by suggesting this would avoid contractor costs when, at the very same time, he and his colleagues were approving a massive increase in contractor and consultant costs in the draft budget.”

“Residents expected that Commissioners would work toward a more effective and efficient Council, but instead the opposite is happening. We’re witnessing a blowout in both the size of the Council bureaucracy and the consultants that make a living from it.”

May 03, 2021

Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance Launched

Tauranga ratepayers have come together to form a City-wide voice to champion a better deal and more transparency for Tauranga ratepayers. The Tauranga Ratepayers’ Alliance launches today.

We are a combined initiative of local residents, chairs and former chairs of Ratepayers’ Associations, civic leaders, and local members of the Taxpayers’ Union, who have formed the new Ratepayers’ Alliance in response to the appointment of unelected commissioners in place of elected councillors. 

Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Dawn Kiddie says, “There is growing discontent with decisions taken by Commissioners that ratepayers feel they have no control over, such as increasing staff salaries from $66 million to $80 million next year. The Ratepayers’ Alliance will stand up against Tauranga City Council’s wasteful spending, poor financial management, and the unprecedented rates increase.”

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union Co-founder Jordan Williams says, “Over the last few months the Taxpayers' Union has been approached by numerous local Tauranga supporters calling for a dedicated voice for fiscal prudence, and transparency. Without recourse to elections to kick the decision-makers out, a strong voice for ratepayers is more important than ever.”

If you are a Tauranga resident or ratepayer, you are encouraged to join for free at www.taurangaratepayers.nz, or at the launch event on Wednesday 26 May at Club Mount Maunganui from 5.30pm, with keynote speaker Simon Bridges and MC Peter Williams.

“Nanaia Mahuta and Anne Tolly have an expensive and unconstrained spending agenda for Tauranga. We need to take back control of our city – with numbers, a strong voice, and organisation,” says Kim Williams, a member of the Steering Group.