Two Kāpiti Coast politicians say the Kāpiti Council must concentratre on the local housing crisis while rejecting the Government’s attempt to take over water.
Councillor Bernie Randall and Deputy Community Board Chair Guy Burns call on the KCDC to pull out of the Three Waters project and continue to lobby central Government for more funding to develop local housing initiatives.
Burns is deputy chair of the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board; and Councillor Randall, a former academic lawyer, is one of the most outspoken advocaes for citizens rights on the Council.
Housing is the big issue
They say adequate and affordable housing is one of the big issues that Kapiti faces.
“This was made clear in the Long Term Plan consultation with the community wanting the council to become more involved,” they say.
No mention of councils in human rights report
They say also they are surprised the Human Rights Commission national inquiry into the housing crisis makes no mention of local councils.
“In Kāpiti we have 118 social houses for older people which were built in the 1970s. Recently, these have been subject to large rent increases.,” they say.
“To reduce such impacts, the government needs to allow councils direct access to the Income Related Rent Subsidy.
“The subsidy would allow council tenants to pay no more than 25% of their income in rent.”\Staff wasting time on Government requests
“Currently Council staff are spending too much time responding to a plethora of requests from central Government concerning future housing initiatives,” say Burns and Randall.
“For instance, The Three Waters programme which is being fast-tracked upon local government: “is a project where drinking water, stormwater and waste water will be taken from local councils and administered nationally.”
“Also, there are big changes signalled to the Resource Management Act as well as a major review into the future of local government by central government. This has the potential to establish super bureaucracy with huge layers of staff which will ultimately shift staff focus away from local issues and needs.
“The Three Waters project must be rejected by KāpitiCoast District Council until some fundamental questions are answered.”
And Burns and Randall pose these questions:
“Will the new body respond as efficiently as our council currently does for community concerns such as leaky taps?
“Because water users are billed based on a water meter charge, will Kapiti have direct representation on any new board based on the well-known slogan there should be ‘no taxation without representation.’