On Facebook recently, councillor Mark Gould expressed concern over the effect that the lowering of our rates Uniform Annual General Charge from $570 to $500 would have on those owning higher value properties in our city.

He pointed out that a person owning a property valued at $6 million could have an increase in their rates of $648. The lowering of the UAGC will of course, as councillor Gould failed to mention, have a person who owns a $200,000 property pay $56 less.

The change in the UAGC, as promoted by our mayor and the majority of her council, is to shift some of the general rating valuation from residential properties; a group that now pays nearly 50 per cent of our city's rates and consists mainly of low to middle income families, back to our district's capital values.

Too much of our rates are paid by a majority; a majority whose homes are below the median of Rotorua's house values.


Councillor Gould should remind himself that the paramount duty of the council is the social responsibility of caring for its citizens. He should be aware of the growing financial and wellbeing gap that exists between the haves and haves not.

The promotion of the wealth of those who are in a better position in our city should not be a priority.

John Pakes

I have just returned from the UK visiting family and friends as you do. Watched a few games of National League (fifth tier) - the honest grafters, no prisoners taken, cut-throat good stuff.

Now what happened to Rotorua United senior men's teams? Are they playing lower league or what?

The amalgamation of City and Suburbs has not worked. Why you may ask? Well it was done about 16 years too late. Both clubs were in the c***; the glory years had come and gone and what made it worse was that there were no decent players to pick from.

Talks had been going on for years about the clubs joining forces when football was really on a high in the city, but they came to nothing.

The diehard older committee members who had worked their butts off had had enough at both City and Suburbs, younger committee members had bright ideas but no experience and sponsorship was getting harder to get.

As for City, we really got sold down the river, clubrooms were sold on the cheap but where the money went is anyone's guess.

I played for both clubs in the Northern League, the camaraderie and the "craic" with your teammates is something that will stay with me forever.

On a sad note Johnny Insch, who sponsored Rotorua Suburbs through his business Key Engineering, sadly passed away.

Clive Phillips
Selwyn Heights