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Hundreds Present Submissions On Community Plan

June 10, 2003

MEDIA STATEMENT (For Immediate Release)

Hundreds Present Submissions On Community Plan.

Waitakere City Council is halfway through hearings on its draft community plan.

The plan (known as the Long Term Council Community Plan) looks 10 years ahead, outlining the City’s priorities for growth and development and how that should be paid for. The 2003/04 Annual Plan (budget) is also part of the document.

Under new local government legislation, Waitakere is one of the few Councils in the country to complete a long term plan- most others have opted for transitional plans which look only at the next financial year.

Waitakere received 2400 public submissions on its plan. The majority of those (around 2000) were delivered by the Citizens Against Privatisation group, which, among other things, supports the Council’s position not to commercialise water services.

More than 180 groups or individuals chose to appear before the Council to speak to their submissions and this week saw the start of seven days of hearings.

The hearings run until next Tuesday 9 (June 17), after which Councillors will hold a series of meetings to deliberate on the submissions, before adopting the plan on June 30.

The draft plan for next year includes major expenditure on library books ($1.05 million), the building of a new Civic library in Henderson ($2.45 million), $7.33 million on stormwater infrastructure, and $4.13 million on parks (paths, drainage, toilets etc).

The proposed work programme would see an average rates rise of 5.8% - or $2.61 per week. That is one of the lowest proposed rises in the country.

Councillor Janet Clews is chair of the special committee reviewing the plan. She says some hard decisions are going to have to be made over the next few weeks.

“Unfortunately we can’t do everything that we would like, or that the community is asking for,” she says.

“We have to balance the needs and wants of the community against the huge costs of depreciation on infrastructure (around $27.5 million for 2003/04) and the general costs of building new roads, footpaths and so on in a rapidly growing City.”

*The average residential rate in Waitakere City is currently $1293 a year (or $25 per week).


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