Q. 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 at present. I can only wonder who is paying for this - hopefully not the future ratepayers.
- Malcolm Gee, New Windsor.
A. Not the future or the present ratepayers, Mr Gee, nor future taxpayers. There are candidate campaign expenditure limits in place, contained 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, which are inclusive of GST, are based on the population of the local government area which the candidate hopes to represent. Auckland City mayoral candidates have a limit of $580,000. 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. If a candidate is standing for more than one position, then the higher limit applies, not both combined.
Q. 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?
- Jocelyn Williams, Howick.
A. 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 similarly, 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. There are 18 Beach Rds in the wider Auckland area, for instance, all of them with different postcodes. To find your postcode, visit www.nzpost.co.nz or look in your local telephone book.
Q. Under the new Auckland Council, who will be running the leisure centres, including public pools? There will be at least six public pools in the new city - will local management have a part to play?
- Marie Telfer, Auckland.
A. It's hard to know. On one hand, the information distributed in August by the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) stated that the council-controlled organisation responsible for regional facilities will provide a unified approach to running and developing Auckland's leisure venues, which one assumes includes swimming pools. On the other hand, local boards will be responsible for overseeing local services, but whether these include the provision of swimming pools is unclear, to me at least.
Q. Will hireage rates for local halls be set across the Super City?
- Bill Andrews, Mt Eden.
A. Unlikely. The ATA brochure says local boards will be responsible for deciding the opening hours, fees and charges for community facilities. I would expect a sliding rate to apply, depending on the age, size and amenities on offer in any particular hall.