TIME TO PAY THE RATES BILL AND COUNT THE COST OF NOT VOTING
Site of the old Maritime building and
Victoria St market
In place of a beautiful stone heritage building this steel and glass high-rise arose. It is a celebration of Wellington's developer driven success, a victory over common sense and a defiance of people friendliness. This week you will be paying your rates bill and for many that will squeeze the budget just a few weeks before Christmas.
Now that the Council elections are over civic affairs will drop below the radar of most Wellingtonians. The rates bill will bring Council back into sharp relief. For those who rent, the consequences of Council elections will not be noticeable till the next rent review. For many tenants the relationship between Council and their landlord and its implications will be vague.
The landlord will understand the relationship clearly and will in most cases be passing on to tenants the increase in rates that will come as a consequence of the policy of the elected Council. It will be a business decision for landlords and monetary pain for the tenant and home owner who have no way of passing on costs.
I'm not sure what the tipping point is to make people cast a vote in Council elections but I suspect over the next three years it will become a topic of cafe conversation and the subject of more than a few pub speeches mixed with vitriol. A massive shift in wealth from residents to business will be complete at the end of the current triennium.