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Council adopts 2018-19 annual report

Environment Canterbury adopted the audited Annual Report for the last financial year, to June 2019 at the council meeting on 19 September 2019.

The report shows that 96% of the Levels of Service targets (results or actions agreed through the Long-Term Plan for the 2018/19 year) were met*.

The report noted a number of highlights in the year – for example the
Canterbury Water Management Strategy fit-for-future project;
• the Regional Pest Management Strategy coming into effect;
being the first New Zealand council to declare a Climate Emergency;
• the increase in public transport patronage;
• authorisation of the first ultra low emission burner that can be installed in an existing fireplace;
• and the Local Bill to parliament for continued mana whenua representation of the Council post-election.

Financial performance during the year

The report also outlines the financial performance during the year. The year-end result shows a better-than-budget $1m operational deficit compared to a $1.5 million budgeted deficit.

The Council’s overall results record a surplus of $4.5m against a budgeted deficit of $1.5m, largely due to a revaluation (up $5.4m to $44m) of the Council’s Tuam Street building.

Council adopted the 2018/19 Annual Report at its last meeting of the term, before the local body elections in October.

Chairman Steve Lowndes said the operational deficit, which would be covered by Council reserves, was a positive result compared to budget.

The result factors additional rates revenue ($2.6m) due to an increase in capital values between the Council’s initial rates calculation in May 2018, and rates being struck in June.

Organisational savings of $1.2 million offset unplanned but Council-approved expenditure on flood protection ($0.66 million), the Canterbury Water Management Strategy fit-for-future project ($0.4 million) and Kaikōura Harbour beacons ($0.3 million).

The accounts also show consent revenue was lower than expected at $0.6 million.

“As I said when Council approved the 2019/20 Annual Plan, this is a lean organisation. We budgeted to use some reserves and we have ended up using less, which is good. We need to ensure we now build them back up and an additional $550,000 was added to the 2019/20 general rate to top up reserves,” Lowndes said.

A revaluation of the Council’s Land and Buildings, done every three years, was up $39.7 million from 2015/16, to $407.4 million – these assets are mostly reserve land vested in the Council by the Crown – meaning the Council wouldn’t get the proceeds if the land could be sold.

The Council’s three-year-old Tuam Street building has increased in value by $5.4m to $44 million (land and building $52.5m).

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