Hibiscus Matters Letters – December 1, 2017

By: Hibiscus Matters readers

 Wonderful Whanga

S Swallow, Manly. Published December 13, 2017

What an interesting and versatile area we live in, almost in our own little world! Reading about three great people (HM November 1) I realised the amazing residents living behind their doors. You’d never know would you, unless you know those people and what they achieve. Firstly, the man who took a massive amount of time and patience, writing about important history of people who had participated in WWII. The couple who won an award for the best accommodation (Whangaparaoa Lodge) must also be congratulated on a wonderful achievement. They should all be heartily congratulated – we have residents to be very proud of in Whangaparaoa.

Rates rise concerns

Remo Casale, Manly. Published December 13, 2017

Based on the 2017 valuation just published and the present urban residential rate of $0.00259753 our annual rates (in Manly) will increase by $701. This is approximately 29 percent above the 2017-18 rate whereas the Council in its 10-year plan agreed to a 3.5 percent increase (Auckland Council/plans, policies and projects/plans and strategies/ten year budget 2015-2025/budget at a glance). I would therefore expect the urban residential rate to be reduced in order to meet the agreed budget parameters in the 10-year plan to hold the increase to 3.5 percent. Anything else is merely opportunistic by capitalising on a windfall. Our property valuation has increased by 40 percent which according to the article (HM December 1) is about the mean, therefore a lot of ratepayers across Auckland are going to be affected in a similar manner.

Auckland Council head of rates, valuations and data management, Debbie Acott, responds: Despite Manly seeing a 40 percent rise in residential property valuations, this does not mean that there will be a corresponding rise in rates. Property valuations are used to help us work out everyone’s share of rates – they don’t mean that we collect any more money. However, we won’t know the impact of this revaluation on rates until we agree our next budget in 2018, so I encourage Aucklanders to view these valuations with that in mind. The average rise in residential property valuations was 46 percent since the 2014 valuation. Therefore, those whose property values have risen at the average of 46 percent won’t see an impact of the revaluation on their rates. Properties with valuations that have risen by less than 46 percent will have rates increases less than the average for the city. It’s helpful to think of the Auckland Council budget at a pie – just because property values have increased, it doesn’t mean that the council budget does – your revaluation simply determines the portion of the pie that you will pay.

Club plans considered

Edward Craig, Manly. Published December 13, 2017

As someone who frequently walks, with and without dogs, along Manly Beach I would be happy to see some improvements to the Manly Boating Club building (HM December 1) and am pleased to see the club thriving. I can see the wisdom in seeking an extension back and to the side, but would strongly oppose any move to take over the grassed area at the front of the club. This is used by the public, including children and dog walkers, all the time. I also think, with sea rise considerations and erosion top of mind for Council, that allowing this would be madness. I appreciate your paper drawing these plans to the public’s attention before the club tries to get the sign off under the radar.

Wrong falls cause fall

John Robinson, Stanmore Bay. Published December 13, 2017

This picture shows the build up of effervescence in the tiling in the men’s changing room at the Leisure Centre. I complained about the design and workmanship when the tiles were first laid about a year ago. I’m not the only one! The falls are all wrong and water does not drain away, so you get a large puddle. Last week one of our class members fell heavily. It’s lucky that he was not badly hurt.  There is another changing room where the falls are also completely the wrong way, causing the water to flow to the opposite side to the drain. The cleaning staff must hate it. The centre and the staff are fantastic but I cannot say the same for the people responsible for this work. I worked in the granite and tiling industry, so know what I’m talking about. It had gone on for so long I had given up, until our friend slipped over. Whoever did this work needs to come back and fix it.

Auckland Council’s Stanmore Bay Pool and Leisure Centre Manager, Matthew Burden responds: Public safety is our top priority, and we ask people visiting our leisure facilities to make sure they follow safety guidelines. This includes taking care in the change rooms, which are often wet and can pose a risk of slipping. Following concerns about the tiles in the change rooms, we will be replacing them during the next scheduled maintenance period. In the meantime, centre staff will be extra vigilant and place safety signs in the change rooms if there is an excess build up of water.

Correction

In respect of the article Grass growing longer as Council contracts ‘bed in’ (HM December 1) Ventia wishes to clarify that it took over the contract for the care of the parks and open spaces in the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board areas on July 1 (not for all areas, throughout Auckland).

More corruption?

John Simons, Orewa. Published December 1, 2017

There is now little doubt there have been elements of corruption within both the Rodney and Auckland Councils, and that it has been at a wide range of levels in both organisations.
Penny Webster assures us of her involvement in Audit and Risk Committees at both councils set up specifically to raise standards and conduct within those organisations. What has so far been revealed appears to indicate those committees were somewhat ineffective and no way does that assure us there are not more revelations still to come.

High praise

Louise King, Whangaparaoa. Published December 1, 2017

I would just like to compliment you on your Blast from the Past column which has brought back some great memories to we long-time residents. Like your columnist I remember that tower in Red Beach (HM November 15) – I always thought it gave the place a real injection of local character.

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