The former Mayor of Papakura (and Labour Minister) who achieved zero-rate increases attacking another former Mayor of Papakura whose vote delivered a 9.9% increase

Len Brown’s city is in uproar as the rates rises bite.

The former Mayor of Papakura (and Labour Minister), George Hawkins, who achieved zero-rate increases is attacking another former Mayor of Papakura, Calum Penrose, whose vote delivered a 9.9% increase

Rising rates have pushed politicians to take their complaints higher up the food chain.

On July 9 the Manurewa Local Board voted to write to the auditor-general and all of the South Auckland MPs about its concerns over Auckland Council’s consultation process.

The council agreed in June to bring in a $114 charge for all households and $183 for businesses to pay for transport projects over the next three years.

The consultation document sent to houses stated that a “targeted rate may also be required for 2015-2016”. In the longer, online-only version a targeted rate of $58.99 was detailed. ?

Local board member George Hawkins says that was not enough consultation to justify the cost being put on to ratepayers.

“This consultation is not good enough. When people consult they have to listen and not just carry on.”

Councillor Calum Penrose was forced to defend his vote in favour of the targeted rate, saying it was the “hardest decision” he had made while sitting on the council.

“We have to get the city moving. I hear it from people everyday. There’s no silver bullet but we’ve got to do something.”

The charge will raise $60 million a year and when combined with debt and Government funding, will give the council $523m to spend on transport over the next three years.

Calum Penrose is marked for de-electing come next local body elections.

He will have a well-funded third party campaign mounted against him and he will be rinsed for betraying his constituency.

The time to rinse these ratbags is at hand.


– Manukau Courier