Small township to get bigger rates increase than Rolleston

QUESTION: Kirwee residents have expressed concern over why they may have to pitch in to a district-wide hall rate when their hall is privately-owned.

Kirwee residents want to know why their rates may increase more than is planned for a large township like Rolleston.

The district council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2028 is proposing a rate increase of 6.6 per cent in Kirwee, while Rolleston’s may go up by 2.6 per cent.

It comes as the district council plans for a district-wide rate for its community centres, halls and reserves as part of the LTP.

All ratepayers would pay a standard fee of $100 a year ¬ increasing to $220 by 2027/28.

Residents say it is unfair to pay for a rate that isn’t going to benefit the Kirwee community.

The hall does not receive any funding from the district council other than covering insurance.

Kirwee Community Committee chairman Graeme Roberts said the township seems to be paying a lot at the moment and the rate is going to be of no benefit to the community.

“There is a lot of extra cost but we are not getting anything extra in the Kirwee area and yet we try fight for it,” he said.

Mr Roberts said projects, including the widening of Courtenay Rd and redeveloping the Kirwee Recreation Reserve ,need to get underway.

The Kirwee Community Hall, located on High St, is owned by the Courtenay A & P Association and managed by the Kirwee Community Hall Committee.

The hall’s secretary Adrienne Begg said, as a ratepayer, she does not agree with the district council’s hall rate and has made submissions to the Long Term Plan.

Mayor Sam Broughton said it is trying to ensure there is equal access for everyone to council-owned facilities and funding across the district is the best way to do it. “I can’t comment if it is right or wrong but that is what our proposal is and we will make a final decision once we have taken into account the communities’ view,” he said.

Meanwhile the hall committee is calling for more support from residents to prevent it from folding and reverting back to the A and P Association. An AGM meeting was held on Monday to make the community aware of the hall’s importance.