Lester’s promises

Wellington Deputy Mayor has launched his campaign with some promises. Let’s look at them:

Under Lester, any Kiwi citizen or permanent resident who builds their first home in Wellington will have the first $5000 of city council rates on that property rebated. Regional rates would still apply.

It would need to be the first home you have owned in this country. People who have owned property overseas will be able to claim the rebate, provided their residency status checks out.

Lester estimated the plan would cost the council about 500,000 per annum.

Money already set aside to market Wellington would be re-prioritised to cover the rebate, meaning no new costs would be lumped on ratepayers, he said.

“It’s about making Wellington a place where people want to live and want to succeed. So $500,000 off-set with money for economic development … is an easy win.”

So this is taking $500,000 a year from ratepayers and giving it to 100 lucky ratepayers?

Rather than have a policy to benefit just 100 ratepayers a year, why not have a policy that will benefit all aspiring home owners? Such as freeing up more land for new homes?

Allowing children under the age of five and their guardians free entry into council pools would only cost a “paltry” $55,000 per year and would also be funded from within existing budgets.

I’m okay with this one. Teaching kids to swim is important and the cost is minimal.

Charging Wellington’s bars, cafes and restaurants to have chairs and tables outdoors was only adding $75,000 per year to the council’s $450m budget, so it made sense to wave the fee and make it easier for those businesses to thrive, Lester said.

I quite like this policy also.

Lester also promised to scrap the fees businesses pay to have outdoor dining on public land, and to tackle the council’s “ingrained sexism” by having more senior female employees, if elected mayor in October. …

He promised not to interfere in the hiring process of chief executive Kevin Lavery as mayor, but said there would be expectations of more “diversity and balance” among the council’s “five or six” top leadership positions, which currently only features one woman.

He is interfering. He’s saying the next time there is a vacancy Lavery must hire a woman.

Good to have a candidate with some specific policies. I look forward to others.

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