Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
www.times.co.nz Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, April 10, 2013 --- 3 Dreaming of a getaway? Phone: 09 575 8476 Mobile: 021 757 440 Email: Nancy.Crooks@airnzbrokers.co.nz I'm Nancy Crooks -- your local Air New Zealand Holidays Travel Broker If you are thinking about a holiday anywhere in the world by air, land or sea I promise to make planning for it a real pleasure. Forty years of travel industry experience and an extensive travel history has taken me to many parts of the world. I would welcome the opportunity to share my wealth of industry knowledge and personal experiences with you. As an Air New Zealand Holidays Travel Broker I have direct access to a huge variety of travel products and opportunities the world over! Big getaway or small, near or far, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Any Airline, Any Cruise, Any Tour 122182 121015 0800 212 279 www.kiwisupertots.co.nz Contact us for more information BOTANY Kiwi Supertots 37 Bishop Dunn Place (Off Te Irirangi Drive), Botany South. Ph (09) 271 6553 120273-V3 111380-V8 Howick Village Jeweller Diamond and Gemstone Supplier Valuer ~ Manufacturer 116142-V8 About Worn out unwanted jewellery, remodelled into a blindingly fabulous new design. TO THIS Did you know Worn settings will invalidate your insurance? Arrange for your Autumn jewellery clean. Receive a FREE claw and condition report. Introducing Before & After School Care for BOTANY BRANCH Brought to you by: ENROL NOW by calling 0800 212 279 or visiting us on site at 37 BISHOP DUNN PL BOTANY 120592 By Marianne Kelly A CITIZEN tax, Government directives to local councils to limit borrowing and using tools availa- ble to smooth out rates discrepan- cies are advocated in a submission to Parliament. Last August, 244 Howick ward residents signed a petition pre- sented to Parliament by Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross. The Howick Ratepayers and Residents Associa- tion has now been asked to send a further submission to the Local Government and Environment Committee clarifying its requests. Association chairwoman Gayleen Mackereth says that in the new submission, it’s clear the time has come to look at another form of paying for the super-city’s services. “We’re no longer funding the local Roads Board, which was the reason for the existence of many original borough councils, but we’re called upon to fund water- front theatres, Rugby World Cup events, ethnic and Hero parades, cycle ways and city loop trains, white-water rafting facilities and the council’s overseas excursions for various unclear purposes,” she says. The solution is to return the council to core services and infra- structure work, she says. Ratepayers already pay sepa- rately for basic services, such as water, and will soon fork-out for rubbish collections. “We suggest a similar system be used to charge every house- hold monthly for general serv- ices needed to run the super-city and for amenities provided, such as libraries, swimming pools and sports felds. This way we’d have a fairer distribution of income for the city. “On the other hand, the house- hold charge method could be seen as unfair on single occupants, eld- erly people, or solo parents.” Consequently, the submission recommends other ways could be found of charging every citizen according to income through the tax system. The Government could then pass the required amount to run services to Auckland Council. Alternatively, an “Auckland Tax” could be used, or a 1-2 per cent rise in GST charged, then diverted back to the super-city. The Government, she says, should take steps to clearly defne the types of activities councils should be involved in and instruct them to limit rates rises to the off- cial level of infation. The submission also repeats calls for the council to increase the uniform annual general charge (UAGC). Auckland Mayor Len Brown argues that more peo- ple would pay higher rates if the UAGC was raised. Previously, Mrs Mackereth says, Manukau City Council residents paid a UAGC of about 28 per cent and rates were spread happily between “rich” and “poor” areas. Mr Brown and his council, she says, made a decision to lower the UAGC to 12 per cent, which skewed the rates so the so-called “rich” areas such as Howick, because of its property valuations, paid a disproportionate amount of rates compared to the areas seen as “poor”. “However, this was based on fallacious argument, as in the 2006 Census, 41 per cent of Howick res- idents had an income of less than $20,000 a year. “Compare this with 54 per cent of Manurewa, which had an income less than $20,000.” The reality, she says, is although there may be a few large new houses in the Howick ward, most are very modest three-bedroom, average-style dwellings. “A high number of people over 65 years cannot afford the rates, yet wish to remain active in the com- munity and in their own homes. “Rebates fail to make any impression on the rising rates, as the cost of water, which used to be included in the rates, can now add up to the equivalent of the whole rebate.” Total superannuation income of married couples living in their homes also pushes the income above the level allowable to apply for a rebate. Calling for change in the collection of council rates are Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross and Gayleen Mackereth, chairwoman of the Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association. Times photo Wayne Martin Super-city tax advocated PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS Pool charges make splash CHILDREN throughout the super-city now have free access to swimming pools as the result of a council vote last year. Adult entry to former Manukau City Council pools was free in the past. However, those over the age of 17 are now charged $3.10 for a casual swim at Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre, Manurewa Aquatic Centre and Totara Park Pool. Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe Local Boards have requested through the Auckland Council 2013/2014 annual plan consultation to introduce a targeted rate to fund free entry or cheaper admittance for adults at their local pools. A decision will be made in June after the annual plan is adopted. In the meantime, charges will not be introduced for adults at Papatoetoe Centennial Pool, Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa and Otara Leisure Centre. Mayor Len Brown says in a region surrounded by sea, swimming and spending summer at the beach is a rite of passage. "It's vitally important to give our young people the skills to do that safely and wisely. Free access to public pools is one way of giving our young people a stronger start in life, an avenue to important skills, enjoyable physical activity and good fun," he says. The 'pool alone' policy has been reviewed and children aged 10 and under must now be supervised by an adult 17 years or over to enter the facilities. Young people aged 16 and under will have free access to core facilities. Charges will apply to all non-core facility areas, such as spas, sauna, steam, special play equipment, dive-boards and hydro- slides and for programmes such as 'learn to swim'. School groups booking space between 9am and 3pm on school days will not be charged, unless they're requesting exclusive use of a pool. More information online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.
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