It is wonderful news that Housing Minister Twyford will allow the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas legislation to expire on September 16, 2019, having learned that it has made no significant difference to affordability.
The similarly great news is that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) have accepted an invitation for their hydraulic engineers to come to the Waitati Marae to explain how they propose to manage, together, the mitigation of flooding and silting, and deal with debris in the stream.
The third and eagerly anticipated decision is the RLC announcing that it has withdrawn its recommendation on the Associate Housing Minister Salesa's desk - to allow the building of mass housing on the Waiteti flood plain under the expiring legislation.
Resistance by residents and ratepayers to the proposed Ngongotaha SHA1 has been vigorous for nearly a year. In our view, critical public feedback is sometimes necessary to create the conditions for national and local governments to devise fresh, safe and peaceful settlements.
Guy Ngatai, Reynold Macpherson
I agree with the sentiments of AR Estcourt regarding the unsatisfactory funding arrangements for Rotoiti/ Rotoma wastewater treatment.
Tarawera and Mamaku ratepayers will soon find themselves in similar predicaments being forced to unfairly pay huge sums of money for reticulation of their wastewater.
Wastewater reticulation is being required for the maintenance and enhancement of lake water quality for which the benefits are region and district-wide so it would seem only fair that the region and district ratepayers collectively pay for such improvements, as they do for reticulation within the urban areas. It should not be a financial burden that an individual property owner should be forced to bear.
To add salt to their wounds, ratepayers at Lake Tarawera are not only being burdened with the very high costs of reticulation, but the local council has recently deemed them all to be "rich buggers" and as a result Tarawera will become the only rural community not able to pay it off over 25 years on their rates bill. They will all be forced to pay a lump sum that could be anywhere between $15,000 to $30,000 or more.
Many are retired or on low incomes and not in a position to take out a mortgage on their property to pay the lump sum. Many will be mortgage-free in their retirement with the only other option suggested by council being a reverse mortgage!
Connecting should not cost any more than connecting within the rest of urban Rotorua.
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