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

 


NRC’s finalised Annual Plan released

Date: 03 July, 2014

NRC’s finalised Annual Plan released

A nil average general rates increase, an extra $235,000 for its popular Environment Fund and an additional $163,000 for pest management are among the highlights of the Northland Regional Council’s recently finalised Annual Plan for 2014/15.

Council chairman Bill Shepherd says the council had previously received 240 public submissions on its ‘business as usual’ draft Annual Plan for the year which began on Tuesday. (subs: Tues 01 July)

“In essence, the draft hadn’t proposed any significant changes or variations from the direction council had previously set out for the 2014/15 year when we adopted our Long Term Plan two years ago – other than much lower than proposed general rates and the potential sale of council’s leasehold investment properties.”

Councillor Shepherd says the council had previously forecast an average general rates rise of 7.22 percent for the next 12 months, but through a combination of careful cost management and better-than-expected returns on some investments had been able to hold the average increase to nil.

He says people had backed that approach during the public submission period of just over a month which had closed on Thursday 01 May.

For a Whangarei district ratepayer whose property has a $225,000 land value the nil increase will mean a total GST-inclusive rates bill of $240.45 over the next 12 months. A similar ratepayer in the Kaipara district will pay $207.84 in rates for the year and in the Far North $186.57. (All three figures exclude river management rates and the Kaitaia transport rate which are only levied on ratepayers in affected areas.)

Similarly, Cr Shepherd says council had asked the public whether it should have the discretion to sell any of its approximately 140 leasehold investment properties in Whangarei on a case-by-case basis.

“As a result of feedback and further consideration, council has now adopted this, with several provisos including that any sales be at or above market value.”

Councillor Shepherd says some submitters had supported offering first option to the current leaseholder, while others thought council should exit investment property altogether.

“However, council thinks the case-by-case approach and criteria adopted will both protect the public capital value involved and deliver more benefit to Northland’s residents and ratepayers than the alternatives proposed.”

Councillor Shepherd says council also agreed to increase the size of its Environment Fund by $235,000 to a total of $635,000 to meet projected demand as proposed in the draft and this too had been supported by submissions.

“Also as a result of submissions, council has included additional funding of $163,000 for pest management at Kai Iwi Lakes and Taharoa Domain and to help fund a joint agency response to kauri dieback, which was also strongly supported by submitters.”

Meanwhile, he says the council had received 180 submissions requesting its support and funding for surf lifesaving.

“We didn’t fund surf lifesaving in this Annual Plan in line with an earlier recommendation not to consider applications for grant funding or establish a contestable fund to help hold our costs down. However, we were able to make a one-off grant payment of $20,000 to help fund surf lifesaving late in the 2013/14 financial year and will revisit the issue of grant funding as part of the development of our upcoming Long Term Plan 2015-2025.”

Councillor Shepherd says council had signalled a commitment to establishing a relationship with Maori in its draft Annual Plan and on 13 May had set up a new standing committee ‘Te Taitokerau Regional Maori Advisory Committee’. This too had been backed by submitters and the committee had met for the first time at Morewa recently.

He says overall the council is forecasting total operational spending of more than $29 million during the next 12 months, of which roughly half will be spent on resource management, including legally required 10-yearly reviews of its regional plans for air, water and soil and the coast.

Another 16% ($4.7M) will be spent on transport activity, nine percent on river management ($2.7M), nine percent on community representation and engagement ($2.7M), eight percent on economic development ($2.4M), five percent on hazard management ($1.4M) and two percent ($700,000) on support.

“Full details of the work the council is proposing for 2014/15 can be found in our Annual Plan on our website via www.nrc.govt.nz/annualplan

Hard copies are also available to view at public libraries and at all regional council offices.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news