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The Mercury Bay Multi Sports Park Legacy Lives On.

An article in the Mercury Bay Informer dated 21 November reported the decision of the Mercury bay Community Board to reverse an decision to charge several organisations the full assessed rates rather than the standard 'pepper-corn' charge of $350 that all community organisations are charged for the use of Council reserve land.

It has been a racket for some considerable tiome that organisations running commercial business such as licensed premises in their club-rooms have been getting away with an uncompetitive advantage as a result ever since 2009 when the full policy was adopted.

But some of these outfits are well practised in in the art of defending their backs when it comes to dealing with the Council on this issue, and such is the case on this occasion when the Board, under pressure, caved in, and reinstated the 'pepper-corn' rental.

Their quite credible defence on this occasion was to say that they would willingly accept the new charges, just so long as the Board applied them equally over all the organisations using the multi-million dollar Mercury Bay Sports Complex that the entire District was saddled with several years ago.

That would have course resulted in the rapid departure of all those organisations that were prevailed on to use it when their own facilities were perfectly adequate, leaving the Complex a ghostly shell on the outskirts of Whitianga as a testament to the manner in which the District was duped at the time it was built.

There are sitting councillors who should be embarrassed at the manner in which this extravagant scenario was shaped, and the speed of the back-down by the Board shows just who has the upper hand in this state-of-affairs.

These are by no means the only so-called community organisations throughout the district that should be paying full commercial rentals. The Whangamata Surf Club is probably the most egregious example, with massive bar receipts.




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