Road revaluation backdown

KCDC have backed down from their controversial road revaluing proposal last Thursday, on the advice of the Auditor General’s Office.

Last week Council staff only publicly stated they were taking the issue back to their accountants, Ernst and Young, and failed to confirm that they had already backed down. However, a statement received by pensioner Roy Bradbury from the Auditor General’s office staff, the day before, confirmed the decision had been made.

Mayoral candidate Jackie Elliott, quoting Jude Hutton in an email to Mr Bradbury, ‘We understand the Kāpiti Coast District Council has now decided against revaluing the land under roads, following feedback from people such as yourself and also our office.’

Ms Elliott says during debate before the unanimous vote, Cr Tony Lester, said he backed the proposal as he wanted to introduce ‘best accounting practices’ and that it was standard practice in New Zealand and Australia. Finance Manager, Warwick Read, was quoted in last week’s Observer defending the controversial move, saying, ‘some councils revalued road land every three years to save costs and that Kāpiti had not.’

During debate Council admitted only six Councils in New Zealand had carried out the practice. Later the Auditor General’s office confirmed the practice was against their advice. ‘Our office does not encourage or require local authorities to revalue land under roads. In our view, the benefits of doing regular revaluations of land under roads are questionable, particularly given there’s no agreed methodology for valuing such land.’

Jackie Elliott and Trevor Daniel of Greypower, spoke against the unpopular move at the meeting and the issue was taken up by other members of the public and candidates. “This is a victory for the people of Kāpiti, and is a rare example of Council actually backing down because of public pressure,” says Ms Elliott.