Council candidate "scaremongering" on rates

Napier City Council candidate Larry Dallimore
Napier City Council candidate Larry Dallimore

A Napier City Council candidate who claimed the city's rates had risen more than ten times the rate of inflation is standing by this - despite the mayor suggesting his claims were for political gain.

Larry Dallimore, who is standing for council in the Ahuriri ward, posted a graph to a social media site earlier in the week which stipulated rates had increased 11 times the rate of inflation.

The following night, Mr Dalton posted on his own Facebook page that this information was "absolute hogwash".

"NCC, over the last 7 years (2009 - 2016) has had the lowest rate increase in New Zealand," he wrote, "it's sad that some people decide to distort information for political gain."

The rates for 2016/17 increased overall by 3.6 per cent, with increases for residential and rural properties averaging between 3.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent.

Mr Dallimore said he did not want to have a fight with the mayor, but would be standing by his figures.

"Statistics New Zealand quite clearly announced the inflation rate up to the end of March was .4 and if you divide that into 4.4 you get 11 times," he said, "there's no argument."

The rates for an average residential site in Napier increased by 4.4 per cent this year.

However, Mr Dalton said over the past seven years, from 2009 to 2016, Napier had the lowest rate increases of any territorial authority in the country.

"So for somebody to...start highlighting the fact that our rate's increase at 11 times the rate of inflation or something that's just nonsense," he said.

"Look at the proof in the pudding you can't...over the last seven years had the lowest increases in New Zealand and be doing something wrong with your rates.

"I don't like people making political capital out of scaremongering," he said.

Mr Dallimore said the low increase over that period reflected the era of Mr Dalton's predecessor - Barbara Arnott - who "ran things pretty tight".

"If I'm wrong I stand by it, and I'll apologise to everyone, but I back myself," he said.

Mr Dallimore said he did not want conflict, but thought the way the council was presenting information on rates was not fair.

"It's not until you delve into it...that people see it."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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