Wellington Scoop

Laidlaw says reports of 15% rates increase are “wildly inaccurate” scaremongering

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Regional Council Chair Chris Laidlaw today expressed his disappointment with wildly inaccurate reports of a 15 per cent rate hike for 2020/21.

“It is disappointing to see a constructive, informal Council discussion being misrepresented and used for presumably petty political gain at election time,” said Cr Laidlaw.

The briefing reaffirmed progress on the Council’s Long Term Plan, including achieving the rating levels envisaged in the 2019/20 annual plan, and not a 15 per cent rate hike for the following year, as reported.

Council was briefed on management’s view of the rating impacts of a range of emerging initiatives and issues under early consideration so that sensible strategic priority decisions can be made. Council was also briefed on management initiatives underway to tightly control expenditure, through careful phasing of major regional projects.

“Suggestion of any fixed rating level for next year is ill informed scaremongering. Ratepayers know that Council will need to consult the community on how and where spending occurs through its Annual Plan process before rates are set.”

Briefings to Council occur throughout the year as part of prudent management practices.

Key messages for the incoming Council were also developed as part of the democratic processes that guide Greater Wellington as a local government entity.

“Setting out the key activities, commitments and outstanding decisions is established good practice from the outgoing Council to the new,” added Cr Laidlaw.

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  1. Taxi Chit, 23. September 2019, 18:44

    Scaremongering? Given the financial incompetence GWRC has displayed over the last decade, a 15% rise would be trumpeted as a ‘saving.’

  2. Mary M, 23. September 2019, 18:50

    They scaremonger by first using twice the intended rates increase so as to make us accept paying more for less.

  3. Alan, 24. September 2019, 8:22

    Chris, remember to turn out the lights when you leave next month.

  4. Michael Gibson, 24. September 2019, 8:37

    The bad news for regional ratepayers is made worse by the failure of virtually all candidates to address the issue. Neither of the Wellington City incumbents who are standing for re-election to the Regional Council even mentions rates in their election statement. Is this because the rate increase made public in their Council’s pre-election report is shown as 22.3% in the next triennium? Quite appalling.

    This contrasts with two incumbents standing for re-election in our ward to the City Council. Both Diane Calvert and Andy Foster actually express concern about our rates. Andy Foster spells it out most clearly when he states that a priority is “to avoid the massive rate rises currently projected.” Let us hope that, finally, the Wellington City Council will be represented by elected members who will actually address the looming rates rises. Let us also hope that they spell out the news in public instead of in Public-excluded and un-notified workshops.

  5. Phil Quin, 24. September 2019, 8:55

    Here’s an idea, Mr Laidlaw: Open the books before the election. Let’s see for ourselves the state you’ve left the Regional Council in. [via twitter]