Local Government NZ Chairman Lawrence Yule went on the bludge trying to get government to give Local Government new ways of raising revenue.
He got soundly thumped by the Prime Minister who is politically astute enough to realise that voters are seriously pissed off with the never ending rates rises councils impose on them.
When you start following the news in Hastings, where Yule is mayor, you start to understand why he needs more revenue. First up he spent millions on the Opera House, when everyone knows the NZ public donâ€™t want to see the opera. Unfortunately for Lawrence he didn’t work out that the Opera House was not up to earthquake specs, so it is now closed with ugly fences around it preventing entry.
Sources in the Hawkes Bay property industry say that fixing the Opera House is going to cost between $5 and $10m that the ratepayers of Hastings donâ€™t really have. So IÂ wonder why Yule is hell bent on building another vanity project, the Civic Square, pissing away another $7m of ratepayers money on something that no one really wants.
Typical of local government ratbags Yule is excluding the public on decisions about the civic square, and some of his councillors are up in arms about it.
Hastings District Council has been accused of “playing secret squirrel” with ratepayers’ money after a meeting about a planned Civic Square upgrade was held behind closed doors.
Councillor Simon Nixon said he was opposed to the public being excluded from yesterday’s council meeting. Â Â Read more »