23 May 2013

Dozens attend Westland protest over rates hike

3:55 pm on 23 May 2013

About 80 people have marched through Hokitika to protest against the Westland District Council's proposed rates increase of more than 9%.

The council's draft annual plan is expected to be adopted on Thursday, which would leave a month of public consultation before the rates increase is finalised.

Protest organiser Anthea Keenan says people marched to the council offices where they chanted for the organisation to reduce its debt, but not through raising rates.

Ms Keenan says the council is up to $20 million in debt.

Westland District mayor Maureen Pugh has previously said her council's debt is not significant compared with others in the country.