by Geoffrey and Eva Churchman
Fundamental Questions: Who benefits from this spending (the payees of the Council) and what value does the payer (the Ratepayer) get from it?
Martin Frauenstein believes these have not been asked aggressively enough by Kapiti Coast councillors of the management over the past decade. Like most Kapiti Coasters he is alarmed by big increases in Rates every year with no extra services in return for them.
He says that compared to Christchurch’s average increase this year of 4.86% and Auckland’s increase of 3.5% this is unacceptable. He also points out that Rates for equivalent-valued properties in Kapiti and Wellington make those of Kapiti unfavourable.
A lot of our discussion when we met was on what the successive Kapiti Councils since 2007 and the election of Jenny Rowan as Mayor have done that have caused this blowout in spending, and the Rates to pay for it. Martin wasn’t quite as aware as us of the history because he moved to Kapiti relatively recently in 2019 to retire after spending several years in Wellington and Christchurch.
He’s held a position as Principal Architect at the Ministry of Health, designing the national health information platform, and is highly IT savvy. As an Enterprise Solutions Architect, he sees his ability to question and challenge proposed changes and promote strategic approaches as invaluable to the community.
The first concern that he mentioned was the government’s reorganisation of the health sector which will dramatically affect all New Zealanders, especially the establishment of new Health Localities. This means means Council and Community involvement will be central to the success or otherwise of the project. Ten years of experience in the Health Sector have given him an in-depth understanding of the machinery of government and insight into the direction of the proposed reforms.
Martin is of German descent but the accent you hear comes from South Africa which he left in 1996 to come to New Zealand. The South African experience impressed the importance of multiculturalism and the benefit that comes from having communities with experiences in different parts of the World. There is no ‘one culture fits all answers.’ All cultures can contribute positively.
Apart from a software business, he and his wife Natalie run a cattery in Rimu Street, Paraparaumu. Linkedin : www.linkedin.com/in/martinfrauenstein