Rates Rises And Kaikoura Misses Out In Budget

Kaikoura business people and residents hit hard by the recent earthquake have been dealt two new blows, says New Zealand First.

“Like the rest of regional New Zealand they were virtually ignored in the Budget, and face rates rises of around 6 per cent each year for four years,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Some business owners in Kaikoura are facing ruin, some have gone, and many are just holding on while most homeowners and businesses haven’t even got insurance payouts yet.

“Ratepayers are being required to prop up the council, which is going to be burdened with debt, and will continue to borrow for years to come.

“Despite that there was virtually no direct relief from the National government in Budget 2017.

“What kind of government sidelines small town New Zealand, especially one that attracts an annual tourism spend of about $120 million?

“Are small town New Zealanders expendable because the Kaikoura electorate is a blue ribbon seat?

“The town’s main public services – water and sewerage, roads and bridges have been wrecked – and the council faces costs that will be five times its annual spend.

“Business owners and employees must continue to receive financial support till late spring 2018.

“It is disappointing to learn that too often at meetings decision makers comment that Kaikoura businesses are falling over, but new ones are starting. “The people who make those remarks are out of touch and have no place in deciding on the recovery process,” says Mr Peters.