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North Shore continues infrastructural investment

North Shore City continues infrastructural investment

June 30, 2006

North Shore City Council today adopted its 2006-2016 City Plan setting out the future direction and costs of running New Zealand's fourth largest city - including a $1.7 billion capital works programme in which transport features heavily.

The City Plan lets people know what the council's work programmes and budgets will be over the next 10 years. It outlines which projects and services it will provide, how much it plans to spend and borrow, and how this affects rates.

Earlier this year the council received 1,132 written submissions on its draft plan, with 126 heard by its hearings committee.

Mayor George Wood says the community overwhelming favoured improving public transport and creating better choices for moving people around the city.

"We've heard what our community had to say and we'll be investing heavily in improving our transport network over 10 years. Some of this includes work on major roads and looking at more ferry integration from our city to Auckland," he says.

Examples of other major capital programmes are:
* Wastewater $371m * Parks, beaches and sportsfields $225m * Stormwater $130m

The average increase in North Shore City rates will be 9.5 per cent in the next financial year, 2006/07 (starting tomorrow, July 1, 2006), and an average of 8 per cent per year over the 10-year plan.

George Wood says that investing in beach water quality and green open space is a way to ensure the cherished North Shore City lifestyle is maintained.

Changes made as a result of community feedback on the proposals put forward in the draft plan included increased capital investment in transport and investing more in town centres over the next 10 years.

The other proposals including wastewater charges using a flat rate, residential and rural differentials and the basis of rating will not change from what is currently done. A lot of work will be carried out over the next year to explore these options more and to develop proposals around rates postponement and hardship to produce a combination that is fair to most ratepayers.

Late next month, the council will send every household and business in the city a newsletter summarising the 2006-2016 City Plan.

Mr Wood thanked everyone who took the time to attend meetings and make submissions on the draft City Plan.

The Local Government Act (2002) requires all councils to carry out a process to identify community outcomes by giving the community the opportunity to discuss what they think is important in terms of the present and future social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of their community.

In 2005, North Shore City Council began its 'Conversations with the Community'. These conversations took place with a variety of sectors such as business, arts, education, youth, migrants, sport, Maori and government departments. Fifty-five focus groups were held with around 900 participants, and post cards, fact sheets and newsletters were sent out to 75,000 households. For more detailed information please visit www.northshorecity.govt.nz

ENDS

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