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


Council Reduces Rating Level In Light Of Covid-19 Community Impact

Greater Wellington Regional Council agreed to reduce its 2020/21 regional rates from an average of 6.3% to 3% during discussions around its draft annual plan today.

The decision was made by Council after careful consideration of the impact COVID-19 and will be achieved through a mixture of savings, reserves, and borrowing, so Greater Wellington can continue to invest in key work programmes such as public transport, flood defences and environmental work.

Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter says the region is facing increased pressure on costs associated with activities and progressing major projects but the impact of COVID-19 on communities would come first.

“COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on our communities, leaving many with financial hardship and stress. With this in mind, we have carried out a line-by-line review of all our activities to identify cost savings and efficiency improvements so we can deliver our planned work programme while keeping the financial burden on communities to a minimum.

“Obviously the overall impact of COVID-19 will still have to be worked through and Greater Wellington will have to be agile in its response over the coming year. This includes uncertainty over the level of fare revenue from public transport as people’s travel patterns change,” says Chair Ponter.

Greater Wellington will deliver a work programme with a reduced rates impact from that envisioned in its Long Term Plan for 2018-28. This reduction equates to an average increase of $0.21 and $1.18 per week for residential and business ratepayers respectively, and an average decrease of $0.18 for the rural ratepayers across all the Wellington Region.

As part of the draft annual plan Council discussed a joint loan with Wellington City Council to support the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust at a cost of $2.1 million to Greater Wellington which is repayable over 10 years. This loan facility, if needed, has been assessed as not significant or material, with very limited impact on rates in 2020/21.

Council also considered its ambitious target to be carbon neutral across all of its operations and subsidiaries by 2030. The draft annual plan for 2020/21 includes a new $2 million internal budget for the council’s low carbon initiatives which will be funded by borrowing and paid back from the sale of Greater Wellington’s New Zealand Council Emissions Trading Scheme units, which are presently valued at around $7.2 million.

“This council is committed to its goals of being a regional leader in environmental matters, upholding our carbon neutral goals and building trust with our communities through sound fiscal responsibility,” adds Chair Ponter.

With no significant departure from the Long Term Plan for 2018-28 no consultation will be required on the draft annual plan. Greater Wellington will provide the opportunity for people to give early feedback on the direction of the Long Term Plan 2021-31.

A final annual plan for 2020/21, related rates and charges resolutions will be presented for consideration at Greater Wellington’s Council meeting on 25 June 2020.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Clark Exit, Convention Centres, And The Killing Of Hachalu Hundessa

Goodbye, David Clark. In the end, the outgoing Health Minister decided that in the midst of a pandemic the best thing he could do for New Zealand would be to no longer be there – given that being there had involved hiving off on his mountain bike during a lockdown, and throwing the country’s most beloved Health bureaucrat under a bus. As Clark indicated so memorably at last week’s press conference, when it comes to managing public health risks at the border the buck stops with…that guy over there! In the aftermath of that debacle, Clark reached the same conclusion the nation had reached some time ago, that leadership just wasn’t his thing. Once again, he got on his bike.... More>>

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels