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Phoebe Falconer answers your questions about Auckland

Ask Phoebe: Legal limit on big spenders

By Phoebe Falconer

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Is there a cap on how much money can be spent promoting yourself in the Super City elections? One candidate appears to have a bottomless pit of cash being used in self-promotion. I can only wonder who is paying for this - hopefully not the future ratepayers. Malcolm Gee, New Windsor.

Not the future or the present ratepayers, Mr Gee, nor yet the taxpayers.

There are limits on candidates' campaign spending, set out in the Local Government (Auckland Law Reform) Bill 2009. The amount, including donations and joint campaigns, must be met out of the candidate's own pocket. The limits include GST and are based on the population of the local government area which the candidate hopes to represent. Auckland City mayoral candidates have a spending limit of $580,000, and Auckland Council and local board campaign spending limits range from $3500 (for local populations up to 4999) to $60,000 for local populations up to 249,999.

A few years ago, NZ Post forced us to change the name of the suburb in which we were living. Instead of just being Howick, we had to use the word Manukau in the address line. Under the new Super City, can we delete the word Manukau and use Auckland instead? Or is it the new ward name we will come under? Jocelyn Williams. Howick.

New Zealand Post addressing manager Geoff Pearce says city and town names will be replaced by Auckland from November 1.

Howick, Manukau City will become Howick, Auckland, and Takapuna, North Shore City, will become Takapuna, Auckland. Postcodes will not change, but they will become even more important. Under the postcode system, there are no duplicate streets or addresses within an urban postcode boundary, which is not the same as a suburban boundary. To find your postcode, visit www.nzpost.co.nz or look in your local telephone book.

Will hireage rates for local halls be set across the Super City? Bill Andrews, Mt Eden.

Unlikely. The Auckland Transition Agency brochure says that local boards will be responsible for deciding the opening hours, fees and charges for community facilities.

- NZ Herald

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