Thursday, 12 March 2015

Brighton follies

Never a bit of good news for my old neighbourhood. The South Brighton Campground is again scheduled for closure. Council reckons it too expensive to fix up the quake-damaged toilet and kitchen block, estimating over $2m in capital savings should they shut it down.
A council document that forms part of the draft Long Term Plan adopted by city councillors last week says extensive damage has rendered the future of the camp "precarious".
It estimates the council could save between $2.3 million and $3m in capital expenditure if it closed the park.
Lessees Lyn Pilling and Dom Brownin are questioning those figures, and say the council seems hell-bent on closing the camp even though it attracts visitors and money to the area.
Pilling and Brownin have run the holiday park since 2005, but they have been operating on a month-by-month lease for more than three years.
"You can't operate a business like that - it's just killing us," Brownin said.
The couple could not walk away from the business because they had invested significantly.
They had had no formal contact with the council since January 2014 and had been unable to progress their plans.
"Our financials are great and the business is very strong. We could easily stand on our own two feet without the council," Brownin said.
Amazingly, the first comment on the news story, from "Mariel", gets it exactly right:
If the council doesn't want to pay for new kitchen, ablution block then let the lessees do it ,and give them a good long lease to make the expense worth while. If people can park caravans and pitch tents there now, how much land remediation is really required to make it fit for purpose?

If the council closes the Camping Ground, closes Rawhiti Golf Course, has already decided not to replace QEII facilities in the east, including Ascot Golf Course , Hydroslides and all the great leisure pools and other sports facilities that were there, move tennis and hockey facilities to the new sports hub on the other side of town, do little to attract people to New Brighton what the hell are people on the East paying rates for because we already know it's our roads that won't be fully repaired for at least thirty years.
Letting the lessees do this through a long-term lease not only lets a valuable facility continue to operate, it also builds in robustness against future potential earthquakes: functioning campgrounds can make for excellent emergency facilities.

The campground was just down the road from our old place. When we were hosting lots of family from Canada, my sister and brother-in-law stayed at the campground and we'd walk over to visit. It backed onto the reserve's walking trails and was about a five minute walk to the beach.

What a waste.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan. I'm not sure, but you seem to be suggesting that because companies are retaining earnings leading to an increase in share values rather than paying dividends, that the absence of a CGT implies that the returns are not being taxed. This isn't accurate. Earnings are taxed once, whether retained or paid out as dividends in the form of a capital gains tax. They are not then taxed again when paid out as dividends (with a slight qualification due to the non-alignment of the CIT and the top rate of income tax), or as capital gains.