Local Focus: Big rates hike for Hawke’s Bay residents
From next month, Napier ratepayers are in line for an 11.7 per cent increase in rates, which for the average household equates to $342 per year.
But it’s not just in Napier – rates rises are expected to be felt around the region.
Hastings District Council is proposing an increase of 8.7 per cent, 11 per cent for Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, and 9.9 per cent for Wairoa District Council.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is looking at 6 per cent plus a potential $75 regional recovery charge.
Hastings District Council deputy chief executive Bruce Allan said inflation has increased significantly.
“We’ve managed to absorb a lot of costs and still deliver the work that we need to do. We’re experiencing significant cost pressures. The council’s borrowing at the end of the financial year will be circa $280 million.”
On top of inflation, the cost of cleaning up after Cyclone Gabrielle has left councils with a hefty bill.
Advertise with NZME.
Local homeowners are divided on the increase, but agree more funds are needed.
Frimley resident Brian Hannam said his current annual rates are over $2000.
“With all the troubles that’ve been going on in the year, we’ve got to have some increase because the money’s got to come from somewhere,” he said.
“But it’s just going to make things tougher, especially for young people that have just bought their first house.”
Tamatea resident Scotty Mitchell said his rates are about $1500.
“If the council needs it to run the city, I suppose that’s fair. Because the rates haven’t gone up much lately, that’s most probably keeping up with inflation.”
It’s just another increase among many other cost of living rises.
Margaret Jaffe lives in Bluff Hill and is concerned about the rates rise: “I don’t like that. We had our rates and they should have stayed where they were and not fooled with the numbers.”
Whatever the hike, residents hope the extra money will be spent wisely.
“Roads have got to be a priority,” said Hannam. “I’d like to see them have a free facility to dump rubbish on weekends rather than having to pay for that as well.”
Advertise with NZME.
While Napier City Council has confirmed its 11.7 per cent rates increase, Hastings District Council’s 8.7 per cent rise is expected to be adopted at a council meeting on June 29.