Author: Emma Sharplin

Proposed rate increase set to hurt local hospitality

Franklin businesses based in the hospitality industry are being encouraged to have their say on new 'accommodation tax' that Auckland Council are wanting to impose through the Annual Budget plan. The council currently spends $27.8 million on visitor attraction and major events funded by general rates from Auckland ratepayers. At present all ratepayers contribute around two per cent of their rates to fund this expenditure. The council proposes to free up this general rate by funding visitor attraction and major events with a targeted rate on accommodation providers. It has been suggested that by imposing this tax, the ratepayer funding that is freed up will be available for new infrastructure investments, including transport infrastructure projects. However, in Franklin, questions have been raised as to how much the current ATEED promotional funding actually benefits local business, and whether the new tax is going to be more detrimental on affordability for businesses. "The connection between who is paying the rate and who is receiving the benefits is also questionable. Auckland commercial accommodation providers enjoy only 10% of the Auckland visitor spend. The other 90% is spread across food and beverage, passenger transport, cultural, recreational and gambling, tourism and retail. Also, it does not take into account accommodation providers like AirBnB, Bookabach etc, who benefit from the visitor economy but are not included in the targeted rate," says Rachael Shadbolt, GM Accommodation...

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Raising awareness about Grandparents raising Grandchildren

While most grandparents should be enjoying their retirement, over 6000 of them are currently raising their grandchildren. From Monday 20 March until Saturday 26 March, is Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Awareness Week. This allows the not for profit organisation, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust New Zealand, let families know that there is a charity accessible to them that provides nationwide support services specially dedicated to the cause. In Franklin alone, there are currently 133 grandparent families registered with the charity, who are raising 243 grandchildren. However, Waiuku Coordinator for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Luana Misa, believes that there are far more families...

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Future of Blast to the Past in jepoardy

For the last five years, Waiuku has been home to the iconic Blast to the Past event, one of the largest free firework displays in the area. However, unless sponsorship is found for this event, the Waiuku Business and Development Association will be unable to run it this year. After the recent overhaul of the town's security camera network, and the installation of 37 CCTV cameras, the WB&DA are unable to subsidise the event this year, which costs the them around $24,000 to host the not for profit event. "This event attracts thousands people from around and outside the...

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Finalising consent for Sandspit Seawall

Six months has passed since the community was advised at a public meeting of the draft plans for the reconstruction of the Sandspit Seawall. Held in August last year at the Waiuku Yacht Club, members of the community were encouraged to attend the public consultation, which showcased the plans for the proposed renovations of the seawall, which has become severely eroded over the last couple of years. While the plans weren’t finalised, Auckland Council took the community’s feedback and said that they would look into making changes were necessary. However, since then, there had been no further updates or consultations on the matter, and at the Waiuku Waterfront and Reserves Management Committee meeting on Monday 27 February 2017, a comment was made that ‘the consent for the upgrade has been placed.’ Upon further investigation, this was not the case, as there were still concerns over the final plans, especially from the Waiuku Yacht Club. In a statement released to the Post Newspaper last week, Rob Cairns, Auckland Council’s Head of Investigation and Design, stated: “We are currently finalising our resource consent application and clarifying our proposals with the Yacht Club. We have recently completed our engagement with iwi and their feedback has been incorporated into our application. We hope to lodge the resource consent application in the coming weeks.” A meeting was held on Thursday 9 March with Auckland...

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Eyes on the Northern Stars

The Northern Stars are the latest team to have been created under the elite netball league of the ANZ Premiership. The Post was able to chat to Julie Hoornweg, their coach, and discuss what this means for netball in Franklin.  The Northern Stars have the honour of being netball’s latest top-level club and New Zealand’s newest sports team. The team was created out of a new elite netball league, the ANZ Premiership, which begins their season at the end of this month. The Stars have aligned with the five netball franchises formed in 2007 for the highly-successful trans-Tasman competition,...

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Community calls for gymnasiam summit

Interested in seeing a gymnasium or recreation centre built in Tuakau? A summit is set to be held on Wednesday 22 March at the Tuakau War Memorial Hall, allowing interested parties to have their say on the possibility of a multipurpose facility being established in the town. Rather than 'sit around and wait for it happen', representatives from local businesses, schools and volunteer organisations are coming together to hear ideas, and hope to form a committee to begin the project.   "We have a great cross section of people who would like to come on board. We have already...

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Should the Commerce Commission allow the merger between Fairfax Media and NZME?

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