Residents call for rates zone change

Patience Bay residents say council services in Te Anau are not managed the same way in their subdivision. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

A SOUTHLAND couple say “nothing has been done” despite them objecting twice in 12 years to include Patience Bay, near Te Anau, in the urban rates zone.

Subdivision residents Wendy and Tom Holder presented their case at Southland District Council’s (SDC) final meeting of the year on Thursday and said they shouldn’t pay the same as their town centre neighbours.

The pair argued several services maintained by the council in urban zones were not managed the same way in the Patience Bay area, a subdivision 3km from the Te Anau exit.

Instead, services were either looked after by those living there, required little to no maintenance or were not managed by the council at all.

Mrs Holder pointed out the lack of amenities.

These included only about five decorative lamp posts in the subdivision, none of which provided lighting on the roads; only one footpath, which meant the likes of people with prams and children had to use the road; no connection to stormwater, no sewerage systems provided, and home owners had to mow the berms themselves.

The road into the subdivision was also filled with lichen which was “disrupting” the surface.

“We have already approached the council, about a year ago now, and still, nothing has been done about this.”

As for water, Patience Bay residents were using trickle feed, however, were still being forced to pay full water rates.

Because the council had not looked after the Milford Rd boundary, the Holders were also having to spray the weeds themselves to prevent them entering their property.

They were frustrated the zoning had not been reconsidered since they made their first submission on the issue in 2008.

“The only reason we can see for the council to again try to include Patience Bay into urban zoning is money grabbing in the rates collection.”

They were particularly concerned about the increasing rates costs with most residents in the area being pensioners or due to retire.

Councillors signalled they had taken the submission on board and would discuss it further, ahead of the adoption of the revenue and financing policy and rating review next year.

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said the Holders should not be disheartened by being the only people to submit in person, as there had been several written submissions opposing the area’s inclusion in the urban rating zone.Sports NewsM2k Tekno