Maeroa, Hamilton

17 days ago

Take the virtual tour

Hilda Ross Retirement Village

Did you know you can view some of our retirement villages in the comfort of your own home?

Immerse yourself in our beautiful villages by taking a ‘walk through’ with our virtual tours. Stroll through the lovely gardens, explore the village amenities, and step into a beautiful independent … View more
Did you know you can view some of our retirement villages in the comfort of your own home?

Immerse yourself in our beautiful villages by taking a ‘walk through’ with our virtual tours. Stroll through the lovely gardens, explore the village amenities, and step into a beautiful independent apartment, serviced apartment or care room. You can navigate your way through each featured room or area of the village and really get a feel for the space. It’s a great way to obtain a more intricate view before you make a visit to the village.
Find out more

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18 days ago

poor Freeview reception

John from Dinsdale

Recently I posted about having a professional look at my horizontal UHF TV aerial because of poor and total loss of signal especially during wind and rain. He fixed it mainly by changing it to vertical. I just went for a walk round Nawton and saw most aerials horizontal - which may not matter if … View moreRecently I posted about having a professional look at my horizontal UHF TV aerial because of poor and total loss of signal especially during wind and rain. He fixed it mainly by changing it to vertical. I just went for a walk round Nawton and saw most aerials horizontal - which may not matter if there's a satellite dish. Attached may be of interest.

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18 days ago

DEAR GRANT, IT'S OUR $2 BILLION YOU KNOW? - [Opinion Post of HRRA]

Rudi from Hamilton Lake

DEAR GRANT, IT'S OUR $2 BILLION YOU KNOW? - [Photo Credit: Stuff]
A former finance minister recently stated an old maxim -
“there is never someone more socialist than a wealthy capitalist in a time of crisis” (1 Stuff, 5th May 2020).
The Hamilton Residents and Ratepayers Association … View more
DEAR GRANT, IT'S OUR $2 BILLION YOU KNOW? - [Photo Credit: Stuff]
A former finance minister recently stated an old maxim -
“there is never someone more socialist than a wealthy capitalist in a time of crisis” (1 Stuff, 5th May 2020).
The Hamilton Residents and Ratepayers Association (HRRA) recently sent a letter to the Honourable Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, expressing our concerns about our City’s processes around their proposed ‘Shovel Ready´ projects. We acknowledge the need for significant fiscal spending that is expansionary in nature given the effects of Covid-19 on our economy. Our issue is not related to the need to spend, but the process by which:

i.) projects are selected,

ii.) how that spending takes place, and

iii.) whose pockets that money ends up in.

In the context of the $2b in Hamilton City Council shovel ready projects, this looks on the face of it to be more of a lolly scramble than a measured response. We acknowledge that this process was undertaken in a rush and we now wish to ensure it becomes a transparent and measured response that will result in relieving the strain on those who will be most in need. If we are to take on significant amounts of debt on behalf of the next generation, a generation already burdened by extremely expensive housing, then it must be spent well, and spent on those who will most likely recycle that immediately back into the economy. If those ‘shovel ready’ projects involve extensive use of consultants and large machines that employ very few people and pay high prices to the asset owners, then this will just drive further inequality and disenfranchisement.

Based on the limited information we have, in Hamilton one proposal looks to be the development of sports fields with a price tag of $60 million, incorporating almost $4m in ‘professional’ fees on just four of them (2 HCC, Accessed 16th May 2020). Another is spending over $103m on gully projects (3 HCC, Accessed 16th May 2020). $103m is the equivalent of 2575 people being employed full time for a year at $40,000. The council in their proposal state this project represents 2549 employment years, yet given the amounts allocated to consultancy fees and previous experience, we are concerned about the extent to which this will eventuate? We are also extremely concerned about poor project management, as well as cost overruns which appear with startling regularity in council projects throughout the country (4 RNZ, 2nd May 2019; 5 Stuff, 19th May 2019; 6 Stuff, 15 Mar 2020; 7 Stuff, 15th May 2020). Sadly, we are also seeing individuals and organisations apparently exploiting the current crisis for their own benefit (8 Stuff 24th Apr 2020; 9 Stuff 15th May 2020). With such massive intergenerational debt being proposed, it is crucial that this money is spent well, and that those that exploit the situation for their own greed are held to account.

To avoid these issues, we want to ensure that systems are put in place to ensure that any money is actually well spent in a transparent way; and that officials are held accountable if it is not. $2b represents, in shovel ready terms, 50,000 people being employed at $40,000 for a year. This in a city of just 60,000 ratepayers. Of course, there are significant materials costs for many of these projects, but it is important in our view;

i) the majority of this spend goes to those who will soon become unemployed, with a focus on local individuals and companies,

ii) that this money comes with comprehensive and fully transparent cost/benefit analyses, that are fully audited by independent groups; including ratepayer groups,

iii) that contract selection and negotiation processes are transparent and involve interested ratepayer groups in the decision,

iv) that penalties apply if deadlines are not met, that price overruns are covered by any contractor for external projects, and a significant amount of any payment is not paid out until after completion,

v) once initiated that comprehensive project cost tracking systems and rigorous systems of financial review are put in place and any evidence of fraud or other immoral activity results in the most stringent penalties – both civil and criminal,

vi) officials in charge of these projects are held to account for failure.

Unfortunately, given the recent history of council projects, the V8’s, Claudelands Showgrounds, Claudelands bridge, Peacocke - SH3 Roundabout to name but a few, we have little reason to be confident in council’s ability to manage projects, or the Council’s stated projections.

The other issue is the amount of the spend. There is some concern in the community that rather than focused on core council areas that badly need investment, that they represent an opportunistic money grab. We must ensure that the amounts spent on these projects reflect a prudent long-term investment of taxpayer’s money. What is the projected timeframe for a return on an investment on the Gully project of $103 million? While there will be a range of environmental and wellbeing benefits attached, how can we justify a spend of $103m when presumably there are significant fall off in marginal returns over a price tag of what might be a few million? In difficult economic times comprehensive cost/benefit analyses which show the diminishing rates of return across different spending allocations is needed. There are numerous projects that surely have a higher long-term economic, environmental and wellbeing return that would be accounted for in at least a significant portion of this spend? We do not want to rush into a few mega projects that are poor investment decisions when all or part of that funding would provide a much higher benefit to the current and future generations that will be paying for it if spent elsewhere.

$2b of debt represents a burden in the context of Hamilton of over $33,000 per ratepayer. A burden which if it were council debt would be held over our homes. In this case it will be held over the homes of NZ’s future generations. Again, in these unprecedented times we agree that fiscal spending is required, all we ask is that this spending goes to those most in need, and on projects that reflect a good investment in our community. We also implore that such massive expenditures are scrutinized and carried out in a manner that is fully transparent and that there is accountability. After all – We All Want to Avoid Lolly Scramble Don’t We?...

1www.stuff.co.nz...

2www.hamilton.govt.nz...

3www.hamilton.govt.nz...

4www.rnz.co.nz...

5www.stuff.co.nz...

18 days ago

Big shout out to our neighbours

New World

We’ve been proud to work with some amazing charities over the past few months who have been helping Kiwis up the road, down the road and ‘round the corner, to get through.

Join us in thanking all the outstanding New Zealanders at The Student Volunteer Army, Kiwi Harvest, Kaibosh, and food … View more
We’ve been proud to work with some amazing charities over the past few months who have been helping Kiwis up the road, down the road and ‘round the corner, to get through.

Join us in thanking all the outstanding New Zealanders at The Student Volunteer Army, Kiwi Harvest, Kaibosh, and food banks like The Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Missions.

Ngā mihi maioha.

#neighbourstogether
Find out more

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19 days ago

Wireless Home Security System

Anton Richter-Visser from Armstrong Smarter Security Waikato

YAY - LEVEL 2. Armstrong Smarter Security can now offer Neighbourly Members an awesome deal on the award winning Ajax wireless alarm system.

FREE HOME SECURITY CONSULTATION
15% off RRP for MAY and JUNE
FREE INSTALLATION for MAY and JUNE
12 Months Interest Free on Q-Card (subject to Q-Card … View more
YAY - LEVEL 2. Armstrong Smarter Security can now offer Neighbourly Members an awesome deal on the award winning Ajax wireless alarm system.

FREE HOME SECURITY CONSULTATION
15% off RRP for MAY and JUNE
FREE INSTALLATION for MAY and JUNE
12 Months Interest Free on Q-Card (subject to Q-Card approval)

See the alarm for yourself on www.ajaxalarms.co.nz...

This is the most sophisticated, expandable, reliable, and powerful wireless alarm available anywhere. The controlling central HUB can connect to detectors and sensors up to 2000m away . . . yes, that's right, 2km!!

Call us on (07) 850 5555 to arrange your FREE in-house security consultation with our Ministry of Justice approved and Licenced Security Consultant.

Please do not let any person talk to you about alarms without showing you their Security Licence first . 😉

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19 days ago

Big yellow queen wasps

John from Dinsdale

Just spotted one in the lounge looking for somewhere to overwinter. Decided that one of our pictures would be a good spot to hide behind. Second one this week we've disposed of. May seems to be the month for them.

19 days ago

WHY INTEREST FREE LOANS CAN BE EXPENSIVE

Paul from Pukete

WHY INTEREST FREE LOANS CAN BE EXPENSIVE

Tempted by ads for interest-free deals? These offers can be enticing, particularly if you don’t have cash on hand or want to spread payments over time.

But while they’re interest-free, they’re seldom fee-free – and these fees can quickly make… View more
WHY INTEREST FREE LOANS CAN BE EXPENSIVE

Tempted by ads for interest-free deals? These offers can be enticing, particularly if you don’t have cash on hand or want to spread payments over time.

But while they’re interest-free, they’re seldom fee-free – and these fees can quickly make the deals much less attractive.

Take a $1000 fridge advertised on a 60-month interest-free term. Harvey Norman offers these deals through Gem Visa. To take up the offer, there’s an establishment fee of $55 and an annual $52 card fee each year after that. Over five years, these fees come to $315. Your $1000 fridge has now cost $1315, a 32% increase
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If you miss a payment – or don’t pay off the purchase within the interest-free period – you’ll have to open your wallet a lot wider. High interest rates can also sour these deals. The interest rate on a Gem Visa is a whopping 25.99%
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Minimum payments are another potential trap. With some interest-free deals, the minimum monthly repayment under the finance agreement may not be enough to pay off your purchase during the interest-free period.

Before you sign up
As with any purchase, do your research before signing up to an interest-free deal. Compare the price of the product with what it costs in other stores.

If you’re still keen to go ahead, make sure you check the total cost of the purchase. Traders have to give you information about the costs, including fees, before you sign on the dotted line. If they fail to do so, they’ll breach the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

They also have to comply with the Fair Trading Act, which means they can’t mislead you about the price of goods.

If you’re offered insurance
You may be asked whether you want to buy insurance, either to cover the goods you’re buying or to cover repayments in the event you can’t meet them.

However, if you’ve got contents insurance, you may already have cover. The trader shouldn’t recommend you take out insurance if it will double up on a policy you already have.
Payment protection policies, which kick in if you lose your income, may also be offered. These policies typically have numerous exclusions and can provide little value. Read the policy to see what you’re getting for your money and whether it’s worth the extra cost.

How to cancel the deal
If you buy an item on credit – whether it’s a new fridge or a car – you have a "cooling-off" period to cancel the deal.
The cooling-off period starts from when you’re given the written disclosure statement, which sets out your loan details including your repayments, the fees and interest charges.

If the disclosure statement is handed to you in person, you’ve got five working days to cancel. If it’s emailed, you’ve got seven working days. And if it’s sent to you by post, you’ve got nine working days from the date the statement was mailed.

However, be aware if you’ve already taken possession of the goods and want to cancel the credit agreement, you still have to buy the items – so you may have to find alternative finance.

If the product isn’t of acceptable quality and you reject it under the Consumer Guarantees Act, the trader can be held liable for the loan. You can apply for an order from the Disputes Tribunal formally transferring your repayment obligations to the retailer.

19 days ago

Small business owners – take our survey

Stuff Prosper

Small businesses are vital to the recovery of our economy.

During the Covid-19 restrictions, business owners have shown initiative, hard work and resilience to keep afloat.

But many have been hit hard.

Lack of clarity about just how heavy the toll of the restrictions have been on … View more
Small businesses are vital to the recovery of our economy.

During the Covid-19 restrictions, business owners have shown initiative, hard work and resilience to keep afloat.

But many have been hit hard.

Lack of clarity about just how heavy the toll of the restrictions have been on individual businesses and their ability to quickly rebound adds to the uncertainty of the national economic recovery.

Therefore, Prosper is launching a survey targeted at finding out the scale of Covid-19's impact.

You can take that survey right now – it will only take a few minutes.
Take the survey

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19 days ago

How to create a happy and healthy home for less

The Warehouse

Did you know a government and industry study found the condition of as many as one in two New Zealand homes assessed wasn’t as healthy as it should be?

That has a big impact on our health, but despite the obstacles we face, there are lots of simple ways to make your place warmer and drier, … View more
Did you know a government and industry study found the condition of as many as one in two New Zealand homes assessed wasn’t as healthy as it should be?

That has a big impact on our health, but despite the obstacles we face, there are lots of simple ways to make your place warmer and drier, more comfortable and easier to heat.
Find out more

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21 days ago

Free vehicle diagnostic scan - P&B auto electrical

Desmond Neighbourly Lead from Dinsdale

Good morning everyone, back to level 2 finally :) I imagine some of you may have warning lights on your dash when you start your car. For this week only if you come in to our workshop at 20 Woodward street [off Higgins road] and ask for me personally [Desmond] I will plug our diagnostic scan tool … View moreGood morning everyone, back to level 2 finally :) I imagine some of you may have warning lights on your dash when you start your car. For this week only if you come in to our workshop at 20 Woodward street [off Higgins road] and ask for me personally [Desmond] I will plug our diagnostic scan tool into your car and tell you what the fault code is. We can clear the code and advise on further action - no charge.

20 days ago

90% OFF insulation

The team from EnergySmart - Waikato

Did you know the government just announced they have increased their funding for the Warmer Kiwi Homes grant?

This means you could be eligible for 90% off the price of ceiling and underfloor insulation, as well as heat pump in your main living area.

For an average sized house it could cost you as… View more
Did you know the government just announced they have increased their funding for the Warmer Kiwi Homes grant?

This means you could be eligible for 90% off the price of ceiling and underfloor insulation, as well as heat pump in your main living area.

For an average sized house it could cost you as little as $300 to insulate.

Cut down on those power bills today by making your home more energy efficient.

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20 days ago

Build your own storage planter

The Team from Resene ColorShop Hamilton Central

What’s better than a new planter box?

One that serves as a place to stash plant pots or tuck a hose out of sight too.

Make the most of this weekend with this easy step by step project idea from Resene. Find out how to create this project yourself.

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21 days ago

Kiddies clothes?!

Alysha from Maeroa

Good morning all.
Just wandering if anyone had any girls sz 1 or size 3 clothing they want to sell/pass on? Or boys size
Thanks in advance.

20 days ago
J
21 days ago

Lost Credit Card

Julie from Beerescourt

I have lost my credit card on a walk from Awatere Avenue along Beerescourt Road and Sandwich Road this morning.. if anyone has found it, could you please message me here so I can get in touch with you. Cheers Julie.

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