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

 

Hamilton City Preparing For Revenue Drop

 

Hamilton City Council is forecasting a $33 million drop in revenue because of COVID-19.

Chief Executive Richard Briggs said the Council’s initial modelling shows under a best-case scenario, with business back to normal by July this year, the financial impact will be significant.

Under a worse-case scenario, with business back to normal by October 2020, financial impacts, would be ‘crippling’.

Either way, the impacts will likely see the Council breaching its debt to revenue ratio limits – meaning it could not legally borrow more money to make up the shortfall and keep the city moving. Nor could Council balance its books until 2025/26 at the earliest. This is despite Hamilton City being in a much stronger position than many other councils.

The Council, which turns over $378M each year, is forecasting a reduction in consent fees, engineering fees and development charges. It estimates money paid to Council from community facilities like pools and libraries and visitor destinations, such as the Waikato Museum and Hamilton Zoo, could drop by as much as $5M over two years.

The city will also be hit by a reduction in infrastructure operations and increased contract costs due to work shutdowns forced by the pandemic, Mr Briggs says.

Mr Briggs said Council would continue to actively manage its books and that other high-growth Councils, including Tauranga, Wellington and Queenstown would face similar issues. Tauranga has already estimated that revenue for the 2020/21 year will be down between $53-$77M and says it may be forced to halve its capital works programme.

Mr Briggs said decisions about capital works had not yet been made for Hamilton. Any decisions made by elected members would take the social, environmental, cultural and economic wellbeing of the city into account and that included the impact of a drop in revenue.

“This information is very new, so Councillors will need to digest it and factor it in to their wider thinking before they make their decisions. Decisions they make around our finances will be made as part of the Annual Plan process.”

“We have put 23 different proposals to Government to either fast-track or kick-start major infrastructure projects in the city and we’re hoping for co-funding on some of those. We will continue to do everything we can to work closely officials and decision-makers in Wellington as well as supporting the work being done by the wider sector.”

“But until the outcome of those discussions is clear, we can’t yet say what the impact of COVID-19 on capital projects will be. If we can keep those projects going – we need to. That’s what will drive jobs and keep the city moving and that’s what will lift us out of the coming recession.”

Mr Briggs said Council was already talking to government about setting debt to revenue at a more appropriate level for high-growth councils.

“We can’t be hampered by legislation that is simply not fit-for-purpose. We need to have the ability to pull whatever levers are necessary to help our city recover.”

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said the figures were sobering but not unexpected.

“A big portion of the money we need to run the city is at risk. It will have huge impacts going forward,” she said.

“We now need to work through those impacts carefully and most importantly, do what we can to soften them. And that includes working closely with our partners and with Government to get major projects started.”

Council will approve the draft Annual Plan budget on 7 May.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, lest he be carried away in the slavering jaws of Jack Tame…. but this was mere incompetence, not malice. At the same time the President of the United States was (a) falsely accusing one of his media critics of murder, and (b) threatening to shut down Twitter for attaching a warning label to Trump’s attempt at poisoning the electoral process by falsely claiming that postal voting has led to extensive voter fraud... More>>


 


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels