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Million dollar input to stimulate Rotorua businesses

News Release
Friday 28 March 2014


Million dollar input to stimulate Rotorua businesses

Rotorua is set to benefit with one million dollars being poured back into promoting business growth through the Rotorua District Council’s draft annual plan for 2014/15.

This stimulation will effectively reduce the current business differential rate from 2.1 to 1.9 and provide businesses with the opportunity for growth, which will prompt more local job opportunities and community wealth in the future.

Council is able to do this after making the decision to increase rates across the board by 3% and then applying $1 million back into the business differential which had been identified as a previous barrier to growth.

The draft annual plan has been significantly shaped against Council’s new financial framework that ensures long-term sustainable financial management and delivery of services. This approach to financial planning ensures rates rises, debt levels and capital works will be at sustainable levels and in balance.

Council has also made organisation efficiency gains through re-setting and tightening budgets which will save some $4 million this year and about the same in 2015.

Coupled with the decision to remove development contributions - which could assist new property developers to save about $15,000, moteliers looking to extend properties to save about $50,000 and major development some hundreds of thousands of dollars - Mayor Steve Chadwick believes the required environment for growth is being created.

“It is important we create an environment to promote business growth as this leads to employment opportunities and better social outcomes through family and community wealth, which is what we need in the city,” Mrs Chadwick said.

Mayor Chadwick believes the district is on the way to the future with the adoption of feedback on the Rotorua 2030 strategic direction, and the approval of the draft annual plan by councillors today [FRIDAY 8/14].

“This is becoming very real as we are now bringing life to our Rotorua 2030 vision and goals, and the 2016 priorities, on a daily basis through council decisions and actions,” Mrs Chadwick says.

“We have the vision in Rotorua 2030 and with some of the work and initiatives adopted in recent months, and with the draft annual plan now giving us further detail on the specifics, we are really starting to get things moving.”

Just short of six months after being elected, Council has committed to using the goals of Rotorua 2030 and 2016 priorities to shape policy and action for incentivising business growth, revitalising the inner city and neighbourhood renewals.

“We have signalled that we want to do things differently and many recent decisions are about protecting the value of our communities and promoting economic developments.”

Council is also in the process of working on other methods to encourage business to grow employment opportunities in Rotorua which will be revealed later in the year.

Work is also ongoing in investigating the opportunity for Council to work with inner city building owners on a scheme to incentivise required demolition of earthquake-prone buildings. The vacant land could then be leased back and used for revitalisation purposes. This would assist to encourage more people and activity through a vibrant city heart neighbourhood.

This week Council has also started discussions around Neighbourhood Renewal in the Fordlands area. There is a need for community-centred conversations and solutions to support and reinvigorate this neighbourhood. In partnership with community, this initiative is working towards building liveable and safe neighbourhoods.


Sidebar:

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick is encouraging people to continue feeding into the district’s future.

“We want our communities to get involved and stay involved, because we want to get this absolutely right as we boldly challenge ourselves to follow a long-term direction for our city and district,” says Mrs Chadwick. “This is for all of us - ‘Tatou tatou - we together’ - and as elected officials we value and desire our communities’ input and ideas.”

The draft annual plan will be out for public consultation from April 2 with submissions closing on May 2. Copies of the draft annual plan can be inspected at RDC Civic Centre, and feedback forms can be picked up at the same time. The draft plan is also available in full online at rdc.govt.nz and online submissions can also be made from the website.

[ENDS]

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