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Leasing Policy For Council Owned Land

In 2009, Council adopted a seriously flawed policy in regard to its land that was being used by emergency service organisations, and community organisations, including clubs of multi hue and size.

By way of example, one anomaly was the Whangamata Surf Club that had huge bar income, and that could have well afforded to pay commercial rates. There were many other in this same category, and with those at the other end of the scale which you will have no difficulty identifying. 

The policy was a 'cop-out' at the time (yes, don't remind me!), and was meant to have been re-visited by the incoming Council from 2010 - it never happened, and indeed it has remained in place until now, when staff have said that something must be done about it to either entrench the policy, or better, install some new defensible rules around its use.

Our Community Board will deal with the matter at tomorrow's meeting, and I expect to see the usual 'running for cover' to avoid trampling on the toes of constituents who have grown used to the 'free ride.' The rates have in effect been paid for by the Council, and as part of the review, the 2009 resolution will need to be rescinded.

The standard leasing 'charge' for these organisations has been $350 - another 'cop-out', and now each Board will need to decide whether to in addition continue to pay rates for these groups, run an application system for 'reductions' either in part or in full, or entirely remove the rate subsidy - enough is enough!

Naturally, you will understand where I am come from on this choice - I can see no good reason why any group should be further subsidized in this manner - it is just too difficult to choose who to favour, and an 'application' system  would be wide-open to abuse, but our Board will cogitate at length I imagine, and I suspect end up where they started.

Prove me wrong!




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