Housing New Zealand tenants in Gisborne have not received rubbish stickers this month. Rubbish stickers are issued by Gisborne District Council to all ratepayers with the quarterly rates invoice.
If a property is leased, it is expected that the landlord will forward the stickers to their tenants. Housing New Zealand is the ratepayer for all the properties they own. They have told Council that they are focusing on the tenancy and asset management aspects of their business and will no longer distribute rubbish stickers.
This is a difficult situation for Housing New Zealand tenants and we understand that they must be feeling frustrated says Operations Committee chairman Graeme Thomson. “Council does not send rubbish stickers to tenants because we do not know who is leasing a property or when tenancies change - that is an arrangement between the tenant and property owner. Under the Local Government Rating Act 2002 the legal arrangement is between the ratepayer and Council.”
Rubbish stickers for all Housing New Zealand properties are delivered to their Grey Street office each quarter. When Council tried to deliver the stickers this month Housing New Zealand refused to accept them. Council has continued to attempt to deliver the stickers.
“Housing New Zealand is a community housing organisation that surely should be making it easy for their tenants to get rubbish picked up each week,” says Councillor Thomson. “They charge rent to cover the cost of the tenancies and that includes rates. In effect their tenants have paid their landlord for a solid waste collection. Council’s position is that Housing New Zealand is preventing tenants from accessing a service they have paid for.”
“The last thing anyone – tenants, the public, Council or Housing New Zealand - wants is rubbish to start piling up or worse still be illegally dumped on our beaches or reserves.”
“If we make an exception for Housing New Zealand and apply the same criteria to all ratepayers who have more than one property and are not owner occupiers, it would cost ratepayers another $10,000 per year. This doesn’t include the cost of setting up new systems to record and monitor who is tenanting which property. Really this is just another example of central government trying to put more costs onto local ratepayers.”
“Council is also a landlord. We take responsibility for ensuring all our tenants receive their rubbish stickers. We want to encourage the regular removal of rubbish from our community housing rather than put barriers in the way.”
Ratepayers on a collection route – Gisborne city, Ruatoria, Poverty Bay flats, Wainui and Makorori – receive 13 stickers with their rates invoice. This is one sticker per 5kg bag. Extra stickers can be purchased from supermarkets, most dairies, service stations and Council Customer Services.
Housing New Zealand tenants who wish to receive their free allocated stickers should contact Housing New Zealand direct. ENDS