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Upper Hutt Leader : June 15th 2011
3 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JUNE 15, 2011 NEWS Fast Approval CASH NOW 245 High Street 24 Queen Street Lower Hutt Wainuiomata Phone: 566 0989 Phone: 564 1596 *All Loans Subject to Normal Lending Criteria Loans for all reasons ADELPHI FINANCE LTD The Established Company HN105346/wh Amounts $500 to $5000 Providing Cash Solutions 40 Years of Financial Service Come along, have fun and be taught to dance 9 Geange Street, Upper Hutt (above Top Cut Hair) - plenty of parking - opposite Upper Hutt Railway Station Email: email@example.com Web: www.danczport.co.nz For all your enquiries phone Kevin 526 6838 021 637 586 or Yvonne 970 3469 Tel: 526 6838 Children: Mondays 5.30pm Adults: Latin Tues 7.30pm Ballroom Tues 8.30pm All Welcome 2411389BI Upper Hutt Citizens Advice Bureau 18 Logan Street, Upper Hutt Ph: 528 9040 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Ad kindly sponsored by UH Cossie Club 2411429BL If you know YOUR RIGHTS less can go wrong Tenancy Consumer Employment Hire Purchase Quakes see rates rise higher By COLIN WILLIAMS Reserves, re-insurance exhausted ' We know this rates increase is an impost on people and it's more than we had pragmatically planned for, but this is a required cost and unfortunately one that is spiralling out. ' Mayor Wayne Guppy Upper Hutt s rates will rise by 4.63 per cent, significantly higher than forecast in the city council s draft annual plan, because of unavoidable and escalating insurance premiums. The council is facing a more than quadrupling of its infrastruc- ture insurance, largely a conse- quence of the Christchurch earthquakes. This is the biggest burden we have had in years, Mayor Wayne Guppy said. We know this rates increase is an impost on people and it s more than we had pragmatically planned for, but this is a required cost and unfortunately one that is spiralling out. The final percentage hike, up from a proposed 3.47 per cent, was settled at a special council meet- ing on Thursday. The city s rates take -- and the consequent percentage rise -- will not be formally struck till next Wednesday, and councillors were warned the still-to-be-secured insurance costs could impact even more before then. The council, which like most around the country pays infra- structure insurance to the Local Authority Protection Programme disaster fund, has exhausted both its reserves and the re- insurance it had in place, due to the Christchurch earthquakes , a report from city corporate services director Ian Johnson said. The effect of this is that 58 councils have no cover for their 40 per cent share of infrastructural assets in the event of a major event. Material damage cover for council s above-ground assets will also be impacted, Mr Johnson said. The decision-making at the lengthy council meeting, which methodically reviewed the almost 100 submissions to the draft 2011-12 annual plan, was in the end dominated by the impact of the extra cost in the insurance. It meant some spending items which, although initially deferred, may have come back into the mix, did not. These included spending on a city promotional campaign at $65,000, and a now long-delayed habitat study. Extra funding of $31,000 was approved for the finances of Expressions, but a further requested $40,000 was not. The $80,000 funding of the Experience promotional group, for a predicted last year of operation, was approved but that organis- ation s 11th-hour plea for another $5000 in its budget was not. Chief executive Chris Upton told the councillors a review of all the council s budgets, made because of the impact of the insurance costs and a rates rise looking to be 4.8 per cent and climbing, had produced projected savings of $50,000. These did not amount to any compromise in the council s services, he said in answer to a question from councillor Hellen Swales. No, they were minor stuff . . . incremental changes across a wide range of budgets which, when you added it up, came to that amount, Mr Upton said. A suggestion to defer the appointment of a city economic development officer (Mr Upton s previous position) was toyed with. It would have brought a 0.2 per cent cut in the rates outcome. The deputy mayor, Peter McCardle, supported the idea, but councillor John Gwilliam said any move on it would be penny pinching . . . it would be foolish to not have someone in that position . The council will officially strike the rates on Wednesday. This meeting is normally a pro forma affair but, with the likeli- hood there may be updated infor- mation on the insurance issue, there may be some late fine tuning of the council resolution. Army tests out combat tractors Dig this: One of the army's new combat tractors demonstrates its ability at Trentham. Photo: ROSEMARY McLENNAN By ROSEMARY McLENNAN A new armoured digger was put through its paces in Upper Hutt by the army last week. It is one of six American-made combat tractors bought by the army for $4.7 million. The price includes parts, train- ing and other support. Designed to work alongside light armoured vehicles (LAVs) -- several are now deployed to Afghanistan -- the armoured engineer tractors, called high mobility engineer excavators (HMEEs) will be able to clear routes for military use, build fortifications and defensive measures and build or improve roads. The 16-tonne tractors are designed to protect their up to two occupants against attacks and mine strikes that damage other vehicles. HMEEs used by American and British forces have run over anti- tank mines and the drivers have walked away uninjured. The tractors have a range of digger attachments for moving dirt and digging trenches. Wellington s Lieutenant Colonel Rian McKinstry said New Zealand could now send engineering sup- port with LAVs with confidence about the safety of their operators. The vehicle will allow deployed personnel to operate in areas not normally accessible, with the ability to clear routes for military use, build fortifications and defensive measures, and construct or enhance roads in areas that can be dangerous, he said. With the armoured tractor we can build roads for people in war- torn areas who would not nor- mally have access to basic healthcare or education. Several changes have made the tractors New Zealand-road legal. They can reach speeds of 90kmh on the open road. They have a side slope limit of about 30 per cent, climb-descent limit of about 60 per cent and fording depth of about one metre. They include a blackout facility for night driving, ABS brakes, rollover protection system, run flat tyres and air-conditioned cab. The tractors have an expected life of 20 years, depending on how hard they are worked. They will be based at two engin- eer regiments at Linton Military Camp from later this year.
June 8th 2011
June 22nd 2011