In a reverse of its normal rapaciousness, the council is looking to help rather than burden people because of the pandemic-forced recession, but whether there will be a zero Rates increase this year as some councillors want, and whether Mr Maxwell will take a pay cut as CEs of other councils have done is yet to be announced. A Media Release is below:
Kāpiti Coast District Councillors have agreed on a range of immediate actions to support local people and businesses in response to Covid-19.
At a special briefing this week the Council agreed to:
· Remove rates late payment penalties for rest of 2019/20
· A June 2020 rates payment holiday for those impacted by COVID-19
· Waive rent payments for three months for major tenants
· Rapid supplier payments, aiming for seven-day payments
· 90-day credit terms for invoices
· Refund consent deposits and fees if applicants request to withdraw their application
· Refund a quarter of fees for food, alcohol and outdoor dining licenses paid in the current financial year
· Increase weighting for local businesses in procurement processes
· Allow Community Boards to repurpose unallocated discretionary grants for 2019/20 to COVID-19 response initiatives
· Flexibility to repurpose remaining social investment grants in 2019/20 as appropriate
· Extend existing library book loans by six weeks
“We know many people have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus and many others will be struggling with the uncertainty at this time,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
“These measures are a first step in what will be a multi-staged approach to social and economic recovery for our district. These are difficult times and we are committed to playing our part to make sure everybody comes out of this situation in the best way possible.”
The Council is also reviewing its 2020/21 budget to find further savings, and will continue to assess the situation as the full impacts of COVID-19 continue to become clear and respond accordingly.
Mayor Gurunathan says local government plays an important role throughout New Zealand communities and economies.
“We’ll continue to work hard to support the community throughout this time and in the coming months and years, while balancing the need to do our job and deliver essential services in a sustainable way.”
Kāpiti Coast District Council chief executive Wayne Maxwell says staff have been working hard to reshape the way the Council works and continue to operate, and connect with businesses and the community.
“We’ve moved at pace to respond to this dynamic situation. Further work is underway to look at how we support the community and district to recover following lifting of the lockdown. This includes looking at a range of possible actions to support the community and help get the local economy going,” Mr Maxwell says. “We’ll be meeting with Councillors again next week to continue our discussions about how we support the Kapiti Coast to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”
Those interested in accessing support will be able to visit the website http://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/covid19-supportpackage or call 04 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 to register interest. A dedicated e-mail address will be activated shortly.