Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Christchurch City Council opts for 7.5 per cent rates rise

25 June 2015

Christchurch City Council opts for 7.5 per cent rates rise

After a two day cost-cutting session the Christchurch City Council has settled on an average rates increase of 7.5 per cent.

The 2014/15 Annual Plan finalised by the Council today allows for total rating revenue of $351.8 million. The 7.5 per cent rates increase includes 5.55 per cent for day to day operations, and to cover higher than expected costs from improving consenting services and cleaning up after flooding.

There is also a 1.93 per cent Special Earthquake Charge to meet additional earthquake-related costs.

This means the average weekly rates bill in Christchurch will be $39.09, up from $36.37 this year; a rise of $2.72 per week.\

The 2014/15 budget was fixed by the previous Council as part of its Three Year Plan and Mayor Lianne Dalziel says it did not allow for sufficient headroom to absorb shocks such as the March storm.

“The Council found itself backed into a corner over the rates increase. Because of the loss of building accreditation we’ve had to pour millions of dollars into re-establishing this core function at a time when our need to perform has never been greater.

"I cannot take responsibility for the financial situation we inherited, but from this point on I will ensure that the Council is on a sound financial footing and is better able to bear these shocks.”

The Mayor says the public is right to be concerned about how the Council spends ratepayer money, particularly in relation to the timing and cost of some of the big ticket items.

“This is something that will be addressed in the Cameron and Partners report which will lay out the options available to us when it is released at the end of July. Now is the time to look forward and we’ll also be confronting these issues as part of the Long Term Planning process.

“This is a great opportunity for deep and meaningful public conversations about the vision for our city and for ways to build a Council that is a financially competent and resilient organisation.”

Background on the Annual Plan
In response to submissions to the Annual Plan the Council reversed some smaller budget cuts, voting to retain existing hours at Libraries and Sport and Recreation Centres. It also opted to cease its Our Christchurch publication which saved $260,000, and it agreed to review its Sister City international programme focusing only on the most strategically important trips.

Other changes included:

• Re-phasing the cycleways programme so it is finished in five years instead of eight years.
• Tram - an additional $1.69 million will be included in the capital programme to enable completion of a second tramway loop along Oxford Terrace, down Cashel Mall, High and Colombo Streets to Cathedral Square.
• Awatea Route upgrade brought forward at a cost of $699,306.
• Bringing forward $142,000 from the next financial year to complete the first two sections of Head to Head Walkway (Pony Point to Naval Point, and Allandale to Governor’s Bay).
• The cost of flooding rates remissions was reduced by $200,000 to $160,000 to reflect the number of people who will be eligible for this assistance.
• Refuse collection and disposal costs – Councillors called for a full report on the most efficient and effective delivery of refuse collection services and as part of that a localised trial into this will be conducted in 2014/15 with a view to implementation in the Long Term Plan.
• Historic Places Fund reduced by $750,000.
• Wainui Sewer Project budget reduced by $1.9 million due to lower contract costs.
• Rates remissions for the Public Realm (land designated for the “frame” in the Central City Recovery Plan) reduced by $200,000.
• Free entry to the Akaroa Museum confirmed.
• Pioneer Early Learning Centre – Council will further investigate an alternative service provider, with the service to be based on criteria set by Council, and subject to formal consultation with staff.
• Stop changing decorative banners for one year, saving $75,000. Council staff will look at sponsorship opportunities to ensure we are prepared for 2015 events to be held in
Christchurch in 2015.
• Akaroa water supply – Council staff will work with the NZ native forest Restoration Trust, the Rod Donald Trust and the Akaroa / Wairewa Community Board to develop a proposal for consideration as part of the Long Term Plan to buy a 190 reserve in Akaroa which covers the entire upper catchment of the town water supply.
• $50,000 to speed up development of the Banks Peninsula Perimeter Walkway.

The following graph indicates that Christchurch City rates still compare favourably with neighbouring local authorities and other metropolitan centres.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

#SaveCampbellLive : Mediaworks Delivered 104,000 Petition Signatures At TV3's Newton HQ
#PonyTailGate #TailGate Full Coverage

Pukeahu Park : ANZAC 100th Anniversary Dawn Service In Pictures

Roughly 18,000 people gathered this morning at Pukeahu Memorial Park for the Anzac day centenary. Anticipating the large turnout, patrons arrived as early as 4.30. It was virtually impossible to get near the Memorial after 5am. By 6, the crowds on Taranaki Street had stretched as far back as the Z Petrol station.

The screens erected around the park displayed the live events to those who had turned up. The heat generated by the huge number of people caused many to take a turn. Medics and ambulances were on hand for the fainting crowd members. Only twenty minutes into the ceremony, one medic said they had already dealt with 15 to 20 spells. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: Is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli? Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915. More>>

MORE IN WEREWOLF:

ALSO:

Peter Ellis Case: Minister Declines Request For Commission Of Inquiry

Justice Minister Amy Adams has declined a request from supporters of Peter Ellis for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that an inquiry cannot be used to determine the liability of any person. More>>

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news