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Kapiti Moves Ahead

It is always instructive to get the perspective of a similar Council, and having recently visited the Kapiti Coast, I was interested to read the equivalent of “Glenn’s Corner” in the Kapiti Observer. Mayor Jenny Rowan questioned what councils that are setting “incredibly low rates” are doing for their ratepayers, “leaving big jobs, and sometimes big messes for future council’s to sort.”

Kapiti is similar to this District in a number of ways, but has one major advantage - it the residence and retirement centre for thousands of highly paid public servants, and gives every indication of substantial wealth. These rate-payers are generally liberal, if not left leaning and have elected a comparatively progressive Council that sees to it that residents want for nothing in terms of facilities. They are about to borrow another $40m to keep pace with developments - their DC's are substantial, and not illusory as is the case here. They have just voted to introduce universal water metering, and have by-laws on the books requiring tanks both for water and grey water on new housing, and plan to extend this to established houses in due course. Their Mayor is popular and charismatic.

I observed a similar situation in South Wairarapa while dealing to the Pinot Noir down there. I spoke to a number of community leaders who expressed total incredulity at the introduction of 'community empowerment' here. There is almost universal support for amalgamation of the four councils in the area. You do need to get outside this area to get some perspective on what is taking place. 




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