Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton has criticised Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC) proposed 9 percent rates hike for the Kāpiti Coast (excluding Ōtaki) as unacceptable, and says Kāpiti shouldn’t be paying to fix GWRC’s bus botch up in Wellington City.

“The proposed 9 percent increase in Greater Wellington Regional Council rates for most of the Kāpiti Coast is completely unacceptable. We’re essentially being asked to stump up extra cash to fix the bus botch up in Wellington City that GWRC caused in the first place with their utter failure of a new bus system,” says Mr Compton.

“It’s a real slap in the face for Kāpiti residents who have first endured Transdev being selected to run our commuter trains with the months of cancelled services that entailed due to a lack of staff and carriages, and now we’re being asked to pay even more to fix GWRC’s even bigger stuff up with their failed bus system? It’s not on.”

The 9 percent rates hike also highlights the under-representation that Kāpiti has on Greater Wellington Regional Council, with Kāpiti having the worst ratio of residents to councillors in the entire region.

“With Kāpiti only having one regional councillor for our 52,700 residents, we’re not being fairly represented at GWRC’s top table. There’s more to our region than just Wellington City, but the current structure of GWRC sees it too set in a mindset of thinking what’s good for Wellington is good for the region, which we know isn’t always the case,” says Mr Compton.

“The extreme ratcheting up of rates like this might be more palatable if Kāpiti had adequate representation on GWRC so we had a better say in how our rates are spent, or if we had a commitment and timetable from the regional council for badly needed infrastructure projects such as extending commuter rail north to Ōtaki. As it is, it’s hard to see what extra benefit Kāpiti will get out of GWRC’s proposed cash grab.”