from the Manawatu Standard
The Horowhenua District Council is proposing to spend almost $1 billion on projects in the district over the next two decades, putting rates up 6.7 per cent for the first two years.
The Long Term Plan is open for community consultation and sets out services and projects the council hoped to deliver, and how it proposed to fund them.
Mayor Bernie Wanden said the area’s population was expected to almost double within 20 years, which would increase demand on existing infrastructure and community assets.
“We’re proposing considerable investment in the core infrastructure of our district, whether that is building it new, upgrading, or improving the maintenance of what we already have, to be able to cope with the increased demand.”
There are a number of aspects here. Good quality needed infrastructure is what councils are expected to provide and if the population will increase to that projected degree, then the council should get on with it. Councils should be able to borrow 20 years out at the minimal interest rates that apply now. Theoretically, the Rates that will be paid by future property owners will help to pay it off. But… this massive program by HDC coupled with what KCDC have in mind means that there is going to be a scramble for not just materials but workers in the region — more housing is needed for them and everyone knows that there is a housing crisis. HDC is less indebted per capita than KCDC, whose problems are much worse, partly from squandering a lot more than HDC over the last decade. —Eds