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Rotorua District Council adopts 2014/15 annual plan

News Release

27 June 2014

_________________________________________________________________________

Rotorua District Council adopts 2014/15 annual plan

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick has mixed feelings following the adoption of the first annual plan under her leadership.

The 2014/15 Rotorua District Council Annual Plan was adopted by majority, with Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson chairing today’s [27June] extraordinary council meeting while Mrs Chadwick is on leave.

After hearing of the voting result, Rotorua’s Mayor admitted that while she was proud of the final plan and the hard work of many that had gone into it, she was disappointed a unanimous vote had not been forthcoming - with councillors Rob Kent and Mark Gould both recording votes against its adoption.

“The community can be assured that this council has produced a document and direction that will really help to move Rotorua forward,” said Mrs Chadwick, who was elected to office last October.

“This annual plan process has not been easy. It’s been made all the more difficult by having to balance the needs and aspirations of our community within Council’s financial framework.”

Mrs Chadwick believes councillors Kent and Gould’s actions had taken some of the gloss off the collective decision-making of their fellow elected officials.

Councillor Gould noted some errors for correction and spoke against some of the projects which had been previously discussed and democratically determined; while Cr Kent did not agree with the rates amount, budgeting for a deficit and any increase in debt.

“I must say I’m extremely disappointed that councillors Kent and Gould recorded their vote against the adoption,” Mrs Chadwick said. “All councillors, along with public submitters, had been given ample opportunity to explore and test the document during this robust annual plan process.

“Given Cr Kent campaigned last year on the long-term financial position of the council, I find it somewhat ironic that he has not supported this plan, while during the hearings he voted for projects that have actually contributed to driving up the annual plan cost to this council.”

Most councillors spoke positively for the intentions and direction of the Annual Plan with Charles Sturt, Mike McVicker and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait sharing their thoughts during the meeting.

Councillor Sturt, who has opposed plans in the past, described the 2014/15 plan and submission process as “quality” and “transparent,” and said this work would lead Rotorua forward.

Councillor McVicker commented that it was an “excellent” document and he was confident it would produce “success across the next year.”

Councillor Raukawa-Tait further underlined the future thinking of the process.

“There has been good work going on and we did debate this. We are now focussing on looking forward and have no interest in looking in the rear mirror. This [annual plan] will take us to a better place.”

The Annual Plan sets a general rates increase of 3% and sets aside $22million dollars for capital projects across the district.

Other highlights of the plan include the reduction of the Business Differential rate from 2.1 to 1.9 and the removal of development contributions.

The full 2014/15 Annual Plan will be available to view online at rdc.govt.nz by Friday 4 July.

END


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