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A Waiheke Island Myth Part 1 On Waiheke Island, New Zealand, a myth has grown up among a handful of people in the Rocky Bay Village th...

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Wednesday, 11 February 2009


A number of people have said they are afraid that if we were with Thames-Coromandel we would pay much higher rates, because they are very high in Thames township. But Thames has reticulated water and wastewater, which we don't have, so you cannot compare its rates with ours. In fact, the average rates over the whole peninsula are between $290 and $502 lower than ours.

In Thames-Coromandel's 2008-2009 annual plan I was struck by the very low rates-increase. For communities like those on the Hauraki Gulf Islands--i.e., ones without reticulated wastewater and water--the average increase per property was only 2.08%. The previous year, for the same category of properties, there was actually a decrease of 8.98%.

On that basis, given Waiheke's average rate per property of $1624, there would have been an average drop of $226 last year and a rise of $34 this year, making a net drop of $116 over the past two years to make a new average of $1508.

But that is misleading, because of course the starting-point would not have been $1624. That is the starting-point made by Auckland; but the average rates in Thames-Coromandel for properties of our type was $1374. So if we had been with Thames-Coromandel, and the same basis had applied, the average rates per property last year would have gone down from $1374 to $1252, then risen to the new average this year of $1278, a net drop of $96.

Digging the equivalent changes out of Auckland City was a rigmarole. I had to use a channel available to community board members, which showed that there had been an average rise of 3.4% on Waiheke in 2007-2008 (following the 45% the previous year) and 6% in 2008-2009, which made that average of $1624 rise by $55 to $1679 then by $101 to $1780, a net rise of $156.

Thus if there were two identical Waihekes, one under Auckland and one with Thames-Coromandel, the average property with Thames-Coromandel would be paying an average of $502 per year less than the one with Auckland.