Friday, 05 July 2019 10:58

Quiz local govt candidates on costs, services — Feds

Written by 

Hold your local council candidates to account on costs and services: and if you think the voice of farmers is not being heard, consider standing for election yourself.

That’s the underlying message to rural people in the Federated Farmers 2019 local body elections guide, Platform: Feds on Local Government, released at the Feds’ AGM in Wellington this week.

"The quality of local government in rural communities can mean the difference between dodgy roads and safer ones, and many thousands of dollars in rates," Federated Farmers President Katie Milne says.

"Rates are among the largest overheads for many farms. Because of the outdated and unfair reliance on property value-based rates, it’s not unusual for a farmer’s annual rates bill to top $20,000, or even $50,000. They can end up footing the bill for a large whack of urban services they seldom, if ever, benefit from."

The Feds’ comprehensive ‘Platform’ booklet is filled with questions and topics to level at candidates putting themselves up for election in October this year.

And there’s also food for thought for existing and prospective councillors as they work on their plans and pledges to voters for the triennium ahead.

"On service delivery and charging, the farming emphasis can be summed up as ‘fit for purpose, at a fair price’," Milne said.

The quality of environmental regulation can make or break a farm business. “So on that front, farmers look for a practical and common-sense approach from councils - one that balances environmental gains with economic impacts and preserving the ability to farm.

"With the annual rates increases of many councils double or even triple inflation, and debt levels also mounting up, farmers - and many other constituents - are looking for councillors who know the difference between ‘nice to haves’ and ‘need to haves’. "And if farmers don’t get satisfactory answers from current and prospective councillors, our guide is challenging them to consider standing themselves. Let’s have more of the pragmatism, innovation and prudence New Zealand agriculture is famous for inside local authority chambers," Milne said.

 

More like this

Be active, engaged

Farmers must stay active and engaged with the submission process, says Federated Farmers environment and water spokesman Chris Allen.

Farmers want NAIT to work

Farmers say they recognise they have ultimate responsibility of stock traceability, and want the National Animal Identification and Traceability system (NAIT) to work.

Mind your feet — Feds

The days are gone when you may wear on a farm the shoes you have worn on overseas trips, says Feds biosecurity spokeswoman Karen Williams.

Farmer confidence lagging, but...

The latest survey of farmer confidence from Federated Farmers does not make pretty reading, says BNZ senior economic Doug Steel.

But it's not all doom and gloom.

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Quota watch

The Hound understands that Mike Petersen’s time as NZ agriculture’s special trade envoy will soon end.

What a jerk

Your old mate notes that serial whinger Mike Joy continues to put the boot into the farming sector.

» Connect with Rural News