W. Bro Henry Child interviewed for Kapi-Mana article

Henry Child’s view of Mana Island from Plimmerton.

Rates rises to increase each year in Porirua starting at 4.8 per cent

Henry Child pays a lot for his view – and he will be paying even more shortly.

Porirua City Council signed off its 2015-25 long-term plan last week, and it includes an average rates rise for Porirua households in the next year of 4.8 per cent. The proposed rises in the following financial years are 5.03 per cent, 5.03 per cent, 5.65 per cent, 5.65 per cent and 6.72 per cent.

Child, 84, and his wife have lived in the same house in Moana Rd, Plimmerton, for 42 years. It has been in the Child family for 63 years.

He said he recognised that councils had costs and had to be taken into consideration, but paying nearly $5000 a year in rates was becoming tough.

It comes after the regional council signed off an average rates increase for households of 9.8 per cent last week.

“We’re on a pension and while we’ve got a few bob put away in savings, we have to dig into that if something happens to the car or the fridge,” Child said. “Rates are skyrocketing and it’s not right.

“What it’s going to do is push the likes of us out so million-dollar homes can be built, gathering even more rates. I’m frightened about what it means for me and [wife] Glad because this is our paradise.”

Some residents Kapi-Mana News has spoken to in Aotea are expecting their annual rates to hit $6000.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said it was a “belts and braces” budget with vision for a healthy and prosperous city, along with ensuring the daily activities run smoothly.

“We’ve confronted the city’s financial issues in this plan and have changed the way we’ve done things so future generations are not left with debt and deficits,” he said.

“Our rates are high, but it’s not because we spend more than our peers. Our issue is that we don’t yet have enough rate-paying residents to help reduce the overall cost.”

The council confirmed $300 million budgeted for capital expenditure in areas such as water, roading, pathways, parks and mountainbike tracks. Also, $21m is to be invested into the city centre, $3m on Whitford Brown Ave, $1m towards a performing arts centre with Aotea College and $500,000 for an outdoor wet playground facility.

Porirua/Tawa Grey Power spokeswoman Kilian de Lacy said some elderly residents would need to look at options like reverse mortgages because the impact of high rates was hitting hard.

“Some people I’ve talked to are not going to the doctor or eating the right food, dropping insurances – there’s some real hardship out there,” she said.

“I commend the council for its policy on young people, but there are older people in poverty, too.

Rate installments are also changing for Porirua City Council, from five to four per year.