Kapiti, Friday 29 June 2018 - Kapiti businesses want more transparency about new commercial rates being put in place by the Kāpiti Coast District Council.
Commercially-zoned premises are now liable for commercial rates in the Long-Term Plan (LTP) adopted by the Council yesterday. The LTP sets the direction for the Kapiti region between 2018 and 2038.
The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce believes the LTP fails to incentivise economic growth or prioritise the unprecedented opportunities for businesses in Kapiti and is concerned at the way commercial rates are being introduced by the Council.
“At a strategic level the Chamber supports commercial rates - however, the option approved by the Council does not tell the whole story. Despite it now being policy we still don’t know how much businesses will be liable in the future, despite our repeated questions,” says Heather Hutchings.
“In our submission on the LTP, we urged the Council to transparently report how commercial rates will be spent and benefit local businesses. We believe user-defined targets should be introduced to measure performance, with regular reporting to the business community. Again, there has been silence on this from the Council.
The Chamber believes the Council has missed an important opportunity to address the needs of a growing population and support the commercial growth required to develop an economically sustainable district where people choose to live, work and play.
“While the Council’s says it’s ‘Open for Business’, our LTP has been driven by austerity. Businesses in our town centres are working incredibly hard - on their own - to catch up on reduced traffic flows, but the budget for upgrading our town centres has been reduced and pushed out over a longer period. We need to do more to support them.
“We have also specifically asked the Council to investigate establishing a role to promote local businesses in Pāekākāriki, Rāumati, Paraparaumu Beach, Waikanae and Otāki town centres. Again, the Council has failed to address this.
“Support for a strong local economy should be a top priority for Council. However, the unprecedented opportunities for Kapiti are being overlooked - we now have a plan based on data that’s 11-years old and doesn’t address what businesses really need to flourish and grow,” says Heather Hutchings.
The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce exists to advance the economy by creating wealth and employment and solve local business issues by providing a collective voice for business in Kapiti. Over 300 members in Kapiti belong to the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce to stay connected, network and gain knowledge and support from our local membership.