Archive | Rodney District

Council releases “for sale” list

Published 14 September 2009

Rodney District Council has released a list of properties it might consider selling at the right price.

 

The council has resisted releasing the schedule, arguing this might put potential purchasers off, jeopardising the maximum return.

 

But mayor Penny Webster said this week “the wishes & interests of our ratepayers” in seeking publication outweighed commercial risks.

 

She said the schedule wasn’t a list of properties to be sold immediately: “These are some very marketable properties. There is no doubt about that, even in today’s climate. But that still doesn’t mean we are actively marketing all of them. People need to understand that they only up for sale – should the right offer be made, at the right time, with the right conditions attached.”

 

The properties include shops, commercial buildings, a hotel, houses, ground leases, industrial land, forest, vacant land & quarries.

 

Website: Council property list

 

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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Rodney rates up 4.9%

Published 5 July 2009

Rodney District Council approved a 4.9% average rates increase on Tuesday, down from the proposed 5.2%.

 

Like other councils in the region, it has ignored a widespread decline in capacity to pay and pointed at the new regional amenities bill as a cause for the increase: “If Rodney ratepayers were to stop paying for regional amenities, such as the Auckland Zoo & Motat, the average rates increase would only be 2.6%,” council strategy & planning director Warren Maclennan said.

“Some of the major projects set out for the district over the next decade which have been included in the long-term plan include roading, water & wastewater improvements. The council also plans to progress the development of Penlink (across the Weiti River to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula).”

 

Mr Maclennan said that, as a result of submissions, the council decided to reduce the uniform annual general charge from 30%, as proposed in the draft plan, to 25%.

 

Some minor changes were made to the development contributions policy, but no changes were made to the proposals in the draft document on other specific consultation issues, which included the proposal to move to having one financial division for the district, and to charge for wastewater based on usage.

 

Funding to install parking machines was removed from the plan as a result of the council’s recent decision not to introduce pay-&-display parking.

 

The council approved a submission to the parliamentary select committee on Auckland governance recommending that Rodney be excluded from the Auckland super city and become a unitary council.

 

“It is expected that even if Rodney becomes part of the super city, the long-term council community plan adopted by the council today will be used to guide decision-making over the next 3 years,” Mr Maclennan said.

 

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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Rodney engages ex-Audit NZ specialist to assess new development contributions methodology

Published 26 November 2008

Rodney District Council has engaged a former Audit NZ director specialising in asset management, Brian Smith, to review project data used to calculate the development contributions schedule in a proposed new policy for levying developers.

 

The district, covering the top of the Auckland region, has been one of the country’s busiest residential growth areas for 20 years and the council set about creating a formula for levying development in 1995 through plan change 62 to its district plan.

 

But the creation got bogged down in battles between the council & developers over apportioning costs between new development & existing users. Plan change 62 was finally signed off in 2004 but the formula is still subject to serious argument and the council has been working on a new methodology.

 

Members of the council’s finance & audit committee have had 6 workshops on it and, at a meeting today, had a presentation on how Mr Smith will assess the methodology. After receiving legal opinions in a confidential session, the committee will make a recommendation to the council for consideration on 18 December. The council’s recommendation on this will then go through as part of its overall draft long-term plan, which will be sent for consultation after the March 2009 council meeting.

 

The assessor, Mr Smith, is now a Christchurch-based consultant operating through his own company, Brian Smith Advisory Services Ltd.

 

The Rodney council’s southern neighbour, the North Shore City Council, has spent more than 18 months thrashing out how to deal with a more precise development contributions matter – the policy it applied to contributions for the Northern Busway.

 

The North Shore council has held numerous confidential sessions on its policy after Justice Judith Potter caned it in an interim judicial review decision in March 2007.

 

In her decision, the judge said: “The busway project, and the manner of allocation of costs – 94.2% to growth (development contributions) and 5.8% to backlog (general rates) – places in sharp focus the council’s exacerbator pays/causation-based approach to development contributions.”

 

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Attribution: Council agenda, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Rodney updates engineering design standards

Published 25 November 2008

Rodney District Council has updated a set of standards to stop poor workmanship leading to infrastructure failures.

 

The council’s Standards for engineering design & construction is a technical compliance manual for developers & others wanting to link into the public roading, water supply, wastewater or stormwater networks.

 

The standards manual, last changed in 2006, is intended to ensure all infrastructure associated with land development meets the required standard and that design, construction materials & building standards don’t compromise the quality of the council asset. The council said it also provided flexibility to cater for the changing needs of the district and to encourage innovation.

 

The council put the draft update on its website last week. Land developers, architects & engineers have been invited to a public meeting to discuss the changes at Centrestage Orewa on Wednesday 26 November.

 

Want to comment? Email [email protected].

 

Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Walker back on Rodney council

Published 12 November 2007Hibiscus Coast councillor Wayne Walker has returned to the Rodney District Council after a judicial vote recount, displacing team mate Colin McGillivray.

Cllr Walker ended 4 votes ahead of Cllr McGillivray on election night, but one vote behind after counting was completed. Cllr Walker got no more votes in the recount. However, Cllr McGillivray lost 2 votes in a judicial decision on valid & informal votes, and so has lost by one vote.

Both men represented Team Hibiscus Coast, which has ended with just one councillor. The other 4 Hibiscus Coast councillors are from the pro-development Penlink Team.

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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rodney promise to work with community groups, and new deputy mayor

Published 26 October 2007New Rodney District mayor Penny Webster told the council’s inaugural meeting yesterday she wanted to work with community groups, “and not just the squeaky wheel”. That would involve councillors going out regularly on Thursdays free of council meetings to visit groups.

Mrs Webster also told councillors what many had said in their campaigns: “Rather than just be swallowed up (by a Greater Auckland council), we need to do the best for the people of Rodney.”

The council elected a new deputy mayor, John Kirikiri. Former deputy mayor Dave Steele was defeated in the 13 October election after moving from the western ward to the central ward.

Blue Light co-ordinator Mr Kirikiri, 41, polled only fourth in the Penlink Team’s capture of 4 out of the 5 Hibiscus Coast seats on the council, but was voted in unopposed as deputy mayor.

He wants to see business opportunities promoted on the Hibiscus Coast, opposes rate increases and says a super council for the region is not part of his strategy.

The Rodney council will hold its first business meeting on Friday 9 November at 9am, when the committee structure & committee positions will be decided.

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Attribution: Council meeting, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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No Mayor Rick

Published 16 August 2007

Property developer Rick Martin has changed his mind about standing for mayor of Rodney – he figures it wouldn’t be a good look for the mayor to be suing his own council over a development.

 

Mr Martin, director of Cornerstone Group Ltd, bought the Albany town centre land from Neil International Ltd then sold the leasehold, and is now focusing on his planned development in the west of Rodney, Waimauku Estate.

 

In his company newsletter this week, he wrote: “It’s been widely reported that I intended to run for mayor of Rodney in the upcoming election. I wanted to do this because, having lived in Rodney all my life, I’m really passionate & excited about its future.  “15 years of experience dealing with the Rodney District Council has given me an insight into the beast that is the RDC, and some strong ideas as to how they could operate more efficiently & more constructively. I also have a clear vision of how our district should develop & grow, which indeed it will as Rodney holds 46% of all the land under the control of the Auckland Regional Council.  “Yes, growth will come, but it needs to be carefully planned for and not come at a cost to ratepayers. Our district is in desperate need of new infrastructure: sewage, roading & public amenities. The west Rodney sewer system alone has a cost estimate in excess of $60 million, and throughout the district it’s the same story of unplanned growth. My answer is that council should obtain funding through PPPs – private public partnerships – with developers or private-equity firms.  Over the next 3 years the Cornerstone Group has a number of projects in Rodney that will demand my focus & attention. I have come to realise that if that attention is divided between a position on the council and my position at Cornerstone, I wouldn’t be doing justice to either. And with Cornerstone debating these projects with RDC in the Environment Court . . . well, it’s probably a bad look for any mayor to sue his own council!   “So I have decided to withdraw from the mayoral election….  I’ll be looking for a candidate with the ability to lead, but also with the vision to take Rodney forward as a major player in the growth of Auckland. At the same time, someone who’ll maintain the things we value like our country look & feel.”

 

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Attribution: Company newsletter, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rodney budgets on 10.2% average rates rise

Published 25 June 2006


The average rate increase across the Rodney District for the next year is 8.5% for properties not connected to water & wastewater systems and a 10.2% average over the district. Those rates include a 3.6% allowance for inflation.



Council finance & business director Kevin Ramsay said debt servicing & interest could be accommodated within those margins. Rodney’s rates for the new financial year, agreed on Thursday, “reflect 3 straight years of unprecedented growth & infrastructure improvements. But now comes the time to consolidate & rationalise,” Mr Ramsay said.He said the council had approved the major Whangaparaoa Rd widening & Hibiscus Coast sewerage network projects because they were urgently needed and the council wanted to contain escalating costs, but it couldn’t continue to fund such projects purely from rates.


“We are unique in New Zealand for a council of our size that over 90% of our rates revenue comes from homeowners or farmers. Unlike many other councils we don’t have the huge industrial & commercial rate base to underwrite major projects.”What we do have is the ability to fund these projects through debt so as to spread the cost over those who are directly receiving the benefits. Debt had been a major factor in enabling the council to keep rates down as low as it has.”Mr Ramsay recommended caution on future capex, though he had no doubt projects such as the Penlink link to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula were needed. He said ratepayers couldn’t carry the financial burden alone and the solution lay with government funding, alternative funding sources and the development of public-private partnerships. The council also needed to consolidate & rationalise its operational spending, he said.


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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rodney sets new building fees

Published 25 June 2006


Rodney District Council set a new schedule of fees & charges for building-related services this week after resolving that users must fully fund the council’s building control function.



The new schedule takes effect on Saturday 1 July.


The council says the fee tables have been simplified and the new minimum fees include allowances for services which were additional under the schedule. “For this reason direct comparisons cannot usually be made.”The council also blames the Building Act & building code for most of the increases: “Where fees have been increased, a major component in the increase is the extra cost of fulfilling all the requirements of the new Building Act & code,” it said.Council web page: Schedule of Fees for Building Control Effective from 1 July 2006 (pdf file, 22k)



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Attribution: Public notice, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Rodney wants public’s views on targeted rates concept

Published 19 March 2006


Rodney District Council wants comment on the concept of specific targeted rates to fund assets & the provision of some services.


It’s asked for comment after adopting its long-term plan for public submission on 16 March. Public submissions on the plan close on Tuesday 18 April.Targeted rates allow the council to enable a local community or commercial sector to fund additional services or assets more quickly without a cost across the whole ratepayer base.Rodney has used targeted rates for water & sewage schemes but is now looking at higher levels of services in specific areas, so a town or even a street can secure services on a user-pays basis.However, before such rates can be assessed & levied the council must formally consult the public, and although the long-term plan says there’s no immediate intention to implement them, the council will use the public submission process to gauge public interest in the concept.Website: Rodney long-term plan



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Attribution: Press release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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