Development Contribution Policy 
Monday, November 17, 2014 at 1:50PM
Bill Barclay

The relentless march towards eliminating developer contributions to the cost of the three waters – wastewater, water and storm-water in new developments continues unabated with the presentation of the policy paper by CFO Steve Baker to Council on Wednesday. It is exactly as I outlined in my post on the subject on 18 October.

This draft policy needs to be adopted before 1 December in order to meet deadlines for adoption and implementation by 1 July 2012. Special consultation procedures have been adopted which will culminate in hearings incorpoarting Ten Year Plan Hearings on 28 – 30 April, and Deliberations on 14/15 May.

Quite apart from the DC changes proposed, we are already funding the interest costs from rate revenue – here is an extract from the Financial Report also to be presented by CFO  Baker on Wednesday:

"In addition to the non-funding of depreciation above we determined that in the 2014/15 Annual Plan we would fund the shortfall in interest payments for additional capacity loans.

From 2009 interest on additional capacity loans was to be picked up by the development contributions levied on growth."

It is imperative that those who have concerns about these preposterous proposals that are designed to shift the financial burden from developers to existing ratepayers take steps immediately to formulate a response and ensure that the proposals and their effect are as widely known as possible in the community.

Only in this way will councillors be made aware of just how concerned ratepayers are at this blatant attempt to advantage developers in the name of encouraging and supporting economic activity. It will be no surprise of course inasmuch as this was the clearly stated intention of our Mayor even before he was elected, and meets what were clearly the expectations of his wealthy developer supporters.

The only surprise is that it has taken so long for these blatantly unfair proposals to emerge – they have been in development within the Castle for some considerable time, and the delay could well have resulted from severe misgivings about the content amongst concerned staff members. But in the end, their responsibility is to present papers that reflect the thinking of a Mayor who is totally committed to development and who is prepared to eviscerate opposition.

To be honest, I believe that there are councillors at the table who will have no clue as to what exactly is being proposed, but who are prepared to be led by the nose, with the threat of isolation, and the possible demise of their favourite projects should they demur. If there is one thing that our Mayor will not tolerate is opposition on those issues on which he believes he was elected, even if they demonstrably biased in favour of selfish sectoral interests.




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