Regional works and rates rise trim eyed

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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Greater Wellington Regional Council has limited rates increases for underlying business for 2016/17. PHOTO/FILE
Greater Wellington Regional Council has limited rates increases for underlying business for 2016/17. PHOTO/FILE

The Greater Wellington Regional Council yesterday "reaffirmed its commitment to significant investments in the region" while also reducing the planned rates increase for 2016/17.

The council has limited rates increases for underlying business as usual activities to 1.9 per cent, and reduced the overall increase to fund this and the investments to 7.9 per cent from the original 10.8 per cent. This increase equates to 60 cents a week or $30.99 per annum for the average residential household in the Wellington region.

The average rates per week, excluding GST, for residential properties in Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa are $3.06, $3.88, and $4.15 respectively. For rural properties in Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa, including GST, the average rates per week is $5.37, $7.60, and $7.48.

Public transport fares are also proposed not to be increased for 2016/17.

GWRC chairman Chris Laidlaw said the council is committed to big investments in new trains and bus services, enhanced flood protection, particularly in the Hutt Valley, and water supply resilience.

"We have big investments under way in the Wellington region -- for example $400 million in new trains, and $150 million on flood protection in the Hutt Valley," he said. "We've previously consulted with the community over these investments, and the public has consistently supported these initiatives.

"The investments are critical for the future economic development and long term sustainability of the region."

Mr Laidlaw encourages people to look at the 10 Year Plan 2015-25 and the proposed changes. "The plan is about building a strong future for the region, so regardless of where you live in the region you have a stake in what the plan is trying to achieve."

A document that sets out changes will be available from March 16 in council offices, libraries and railway stations. Go to www.gw.govt.nz/have-your-say for information.

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