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Business Improvement District (BID) : Kaitaia Alive and Happening

by Editor

What is Kaitaia Alive and Happening?
The Business Improvement District project (BID - Kaitaia Alive and Happening), is a partnership between local government and the business community designed to revitalise towns and main shopping and business areas. The Kaitaia Business Association (KBA) is in support of the BID which works through a ‘proportional levy’ scheme. (see info below) Local businesses will be asked to vote on their support for the scheme in October or November of this year. Up until that time, the KBA will be speaking with businesses and promoting the project so that everyone has a clear understanding of what Kaitaia Alive and Happening is and how it can work for our community.


What is a Proportional Levy and how is it applied?
Local businesses contribute a set amount of money each year which is determined by their rateable value through the local council. The idea is that if everyone contributes a little, no-one needs to contribute a lot. An affordable amount based on the number of businesses located within a specified area and resourcing needed for projects and improvements is set. Generally this amount is within $300-$400 per annum depending on the size of your property. Taken over the course of a year, that's less than a cup of coffee a day. The council includes the levy in their usual rate collections throughout the year and then forwards it on to the Kaitaia Business Association in its entirety. The council does not retain any of the monies and offers its administration service to collect it free of charge.


Who is eligible to vote?
BID projects work on ‘one owner, one vote; one business one vote’ in a specified area. While the area may be expanded at a later date, for now it has been defined as Commerce Street continuing to the dairy on south road and JNL on north road, Puckey Avenue and Matthews Avenue. The businesses within these areas will be asked to vote on their approval of the levy. 
Property owners receive only one vote regardless of the number of properties owned. Tenants of buildings who are not necessarily the owners of a building, but own a business operating from premises owned by someone else, also have one vote. The Kaitaia Business Association will construct a ‘Voters List’ which names all eligible voters and ballot papers will be sent and the resulting votes received by mail. The ballot is conducted by an independent group. Results will be announced in the Northland Age in November of this year.


How will the money be used?
It is envisaged that the money received from the levy will be used to:

  • Develop and promote the Kaitaia CBD generally.
  • Support economic growth through the identification and strategic and annual planning of projects.
  • Increase employment and local business investment by showing potential. investors and businesses that there is strong business leadership in the town.
  • Enhance the physical environment through determining appropriate and useful projects.

Who will do this work?
The Kaitaia Business Association is an Incorporated Society made of up local businesses. It is a ‘not for profit’ and volunteer group which has benefited local businesses and the community by driving projects such as:

  • The heritage murals (on Shackleton's wall).
  • Improved under veranda lighting in the main street.
  • Installation and maintenance of the CCTV camera’s located throughout the town, which has aided in reducing crimes such as graffiti and destruction and wilful harming of property.
  • Advocating for Kaitaia and consulting with local government; e.g. annual plan submissions and other projects.
  • Working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Enterprise Northland and other economic and community agencies to bring services and build capability of local businesses and organisations.

In addition the KBA promotes local business and meets and hosts guest speakers to the area regularly to help build the capacity of local businesses. It also hosts regular networking events to promote a co-operative culture in the town. The money collected through the Kaitaia Alive and Happening project is a means for being able to determine and drive our own direction and destiny. By undertaking a regular planning process and cycle, outcomes goals and objectives will be designed, managed and results measured. No person or single business is able to derive individual financial gain as a result of being involved with the BID - Kaitaia Alive and Happening project.


When will Kaitaia - Alive and Happening start?
The Kaitaia Business Association will firstly ask businesses to vote on whether they support the project (BID Kaitaia Alive and Happening). This will take place in October or November of 2011. If 51% of the received votes are in favour of the project, the council will then approve the area and begin collecting the levy for the 2012 year.