Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Local Gubmint receives another planning shock: complulsory 30-year asset horizons

The Left Honourable President-for-life of the Union of Local Gubmint Drones, Larry Fool, has slammed the new 30-year planning horizon to be legislated for tomorrow lunchtime.

"This is a heedless, expensive and totally unwarranted intrusion into local democracy", he opined.

"For half a century, Local Gubmints have not worried about this sort of expensive overhead. We maintain infrastructure as best we can with the pittance we receive from an uncaring public by way of rates, fees, levies, contributions, charges, and not to mention dog registration imposts and library fines. We are very proud of the fact that we manage to do so much with so little."

When your intrepid reporter reminded the Fool about a string of infrastructure accidents over the years - Abbotsford (leaking storm and potable water, at the top of a clay face), Wellington (leaking pipes at the top of inadequately consented gully infills), the occasional sinkhole when old, brick-barrel sewers unaccountably collapse, the more occasional water-main fountain when the termites stop holding hands, the frequent discharge of raw sewage into estuaries, rivers and harbours, and other small incidents, the Larry was quick to defend the status quo.

"Why", he said, splutteringly, "It isn't Every council who can actually afford to mount a cellphone camera on a child's radio-controlled Cat D9 model, and photograph every last blooming pipe. This gear is Costly, takes teams of highly paid engineers Months to work through the images, and we can never be sure just where the so-called cracks and collapses are when we start digging, so we just start any old where.

We much prefer the time-tested, age-old methods: we simply rely on our trusty ratepayers to drive into the holes or over the slips, or to notice nasty smells or the sudden absence of a key hillside road, they then tell us, and then we blame the dairy farmers for everything."

The interview was, unfortunately, cut short at that point. It seems that the Fool had parked on a double yellow line, had been towed, but the towtruck and its precious cargo had then fallen down a large sinkhole caused by dairy farmers.

We promise to resume transmission once the offending agronomist has been dealt to.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Development Contributions to be limited

Transcription of Lawrence Yules' (Chair, Local Gubmnint Apologists' Association) remarks (remember I did predict wailing and gnashing of teeth...) re the shutting down of their Devepment Contributions rort.....

You mean we gotta treat our new residents as Customers?

C'mon, folks!

For years, we have managed to treat them as Serfs, Minions, and Cash Cows.

We'd like to keep up this proud tradition.

By inventing ever yet more Artful (pun, geddit?) charges, fees, levies, contributions, and please note I did NOT say back-handers.

And also please note that None of this affects Rates up till now! Because our elected representatives (we send 'em a postcard each Christmas to make them feel a bit noticed) keep an Eagle Eye on the Rates roll-up, and it's darn hard to get anything clever in there.

So we just have all these other revenue buckets - a one-liner on the Annual Report, if'n' yer really lucky and we don't hide it all in a Note to the Accounts! "Other fees and charges' is the name, and there's so much in there that the poor Councillors (who are not, I must confess, the most financially literate bunch in the burg) just swaloow it whole. They probably think it's all Parking Meters or something.

And we have had a Glorious Tradition (well, decade, really) of accumulating yet more costs for which we need Revenue Streams - Rivers, actually. Buskers, Community Development graduates, City Planners, MUL-Measurers, Business Development Assisterators and a host of other Vital Individuals, who, BTW, all need paid next Thursday.

Someone's gotta stump up - and who better than the first-home-buyer, who is so darn grateful to get their own leetle Castle that they'll crawl over broken glass to kiss their bankster's cheeks and sign away their next thirty years of discretionary moolah.

Why the poor suckaz - whoops - I mean these Fine Upstanding Citizens (we have a TLA for them but that's BTW) don't even realise that (as Mike Greer has said re Christchurch) $75K of their new house and land costs is solely down to the Council - we salami-slice it and disguise it sooo well. We Certainly don't give 'em a detailed itemised invoice....

But, and I give this Government clear notice - if we Have to start doing stuff transparently, then Rates are Gonna sky-rocket. As we are forced to disgorge all the hidden revenues outta them hidden Buckets and put 'em in Rates.

Well everyone will know who to blame - that's right - the Government!

Like I said, fair warning!

Well, can't hang around all day justifying what we've done since time immemorial, to you bunch of picky inquisitors.

Besides, I can already smell freshly minted Plans in that there Inbox - time to Have some More Fun! While we can....