Monday, December 14, 2020


Nelson has been Keeping Rates Low, and now the bill has come due:

Underfunding of running costs for Nelson-Tasman's sewerage system is a key reason for it seeking a big increase in its budget, an officer says.

A multi-year business plan presented to the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit, which has representatives from Nelson and Tasman councils, has come under fire for its proposed big increases in capital and operational spending.

The increases have been labelled “unsustainable” by the Nelson City Council's group manager of infrastructure Alec Louverdis. The proposed operational costs would work out to an increase of $611,000 in 2021-22, equivalent to a one per cent increase in Nelson rates, he said.

As Wellington is also rather messily demonstrating, Keeping Rates Low by skimping on maintenance is an illusory "saving". All it does is push the bill into the future, while increasing it with a side order of shit in the streets. As for calling the cost of fixing it "unsustainable", its unsustainable not to.

Nelson City Council and its ratepayers need to grow the fuck up. Unlike the enormous dam they're subsidising for farmers, this isn't a luxury. If they want to live in the 21st century (or even the 20th), they need to pay for it.