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Rotorua Long-Term Plan Adopted

Thursday 29 March 2012

Rotorua Long-Term Plan Adopted
– Available For Public Feedback From Monday

Rotorua District Council (RDC) has today [29 March] adopted its draft Long-term Plan covering the ten years from 1 July 2012 to 2022.

The 350 page plan is being released on Monday [2 April] for public consultation, with copies available for inspection at the council’s Civic Centre, Rotorua District Library, City Focus and also online at rdc.govt.nz.

Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the council’s future plans by filling in a freepost feedback form and sending it back to the council or making an e-submission online at rdc.govt.nz.

The Long-term Plan is a master plan required under government legislation to detail councils’ future direction, activities and projects, budgets, and to set out how programmes will be funded and how council performance will be measured.

Summary for every household
A 12 page summary of the draft plan and a freepost submission form are being delivered to every household in Rotorua district in the week following Easter Monday. Residents will have until 3 May to make submissions.

Public meetings
As part of the community consultation process, the council is holding two public meetings to explain the Long-term Plan and to help people make submissions. These meetings will be at RDC’s Civic Centre on Tuesday 17 April at 2pm and 5.30pm, and Mayor Kevin Winters is inviting interested residents to attend.

Key themes
Mayor Winters says the 2012-22 draft Long-term Plan focuses on three key overall themes - economic prosperity, environmental improvement and continuous business improvement, with a primary concentration on economic growth for the next three years.

Focus on stimulating the economy
“It’s a responsible Long-term Plan balancing financial constraint with a need to undertake activities that help stimulate the local economy.

“It’s important that people take this chance to have their say so the council can consider community input before it makes decisions on finalising its plan in June. Nothing is set in concrete yet.

Lakes water quality remains important
“The environment continues to be a key feature of our future direction, especially keeping the momentum on improving lakes’ water quality. The plan proposes continuation of our programme for constructing lakeside sewerage schemes in partnership with Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Crown.”

Debt levels below policy levels
The council is proposing to keep debt levels well under the limits set by established policy and is proposing to reduce airport infrastructure debt by $10m over the period of the plan.

$10m operational savings
“Our management and staff have also accepted our challenge to reduce operational costs by $10m over the plan’s term and this will be done by implementing the successful ‘Lean Thinking’ international business concept, focusing on conducting business better, faster, easier, and at less cost,” says Mayor Winters.

New rating system to use capital vales
The draft Long-term Plan includes a review of the rating system with proposals to allocate rates from next year against the capital value of properties rather than against land values as at present. People can go online (from Monday 2 April) to see the impact of the new rates proposals by accessing a rates calculator on the council website rdc.govt.nz.

Rates increase held at 2.9% for 2012/13
Mr Winters said the council is determined to continue its record of maintaining low level rates increases and is proposing a 2.9% increase in the overall amount of rates to be collected for the 2012/13 coming year. For the following two years it is signalling that rates would be kept below 3.5% and then within 2% of CPI for the rest of the Long-term Plan’s ten year period.

“Council rates increases have averaged just 2% over the last three years, amongst the lowest increases of any council in the country, and we want to continue with low rates increases for the immediate future,” he said.

ENDS

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