Development Contribution No-Show
Friday, October 24, 2014 at 1:20PM
Bill Barclay

The discussion on the Development Contribution paper was very puzzling, and for this there can be only one explanation - the "Key Changes" referred to in the paper that I dealt with in my 18 October post, must have been thoroughly explored in a closed-door workshop, and decisions already made. It will be difficult to find out what they were until the meeting when the paper is adopted for consultation. 

In the meantime, all that was discussed were peripheral issues that Leach wants handed to a "working party' to hammer out.  Vanessa Cooling (Financial Policy Analyst and the paper's author) would have preferred discussion on Wednesday so that she and her team could prepare a further draft, but they were having none of that. I obtained the distinct impression that the "Key Issues" remain controversial, but there was no way that Leach or others around the table wanted discussion in public (me!) at that time. Vanesa is apparently only on temporary assignment, and leaves the Council on 31 November, so that is a little inconvenient.

So the discussion on Wednesday narrowed into arguments surrounding water unit charges, and the method of calculation around 'district', 'sub-district' or 'catchment' areas for calculation purposes. It was all very academic indeed, and I am not sure anything was resolved except that they will come back on or prior to 1 December to finalise the consultation draft. This followed a decision to proceed with the Special Consultation Process early next year. 

At least rate-payers have one limited opportunity to convey concerns about what is proposed through that process of switching from developer to ratepayer funded new infrastructure.

One is left with questioning whether they really understand what is being proposed - I guess that we will find out soon enough. In the meantime, brace for the inevitable post 2015 rating impact that remains to be analysed, and determined




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