Projected Rates Rise Drops As Work Continues On Annual Plan
Kaipara District Council staff brought the final draft of the Annual Plan to a briefing earlier this month, presenting recent financial statements alongside a rates increase averaging 4.86 percent.
This latest figure is lower than the total rates rise (excluding water) of 7.13 percent in Year two of the Long Term Plan. It follows a Council briefing earlier in the year where Elected Members asked staff to continue identifying savings and cost reductions wherever possible.
Mayor Dr Jason Smith is pleased with the direction the Annual Plan is heading in.
“There would be very few councils in New Zealand currently looking to slash their rates rise by 2.27 percent. We are now looking at a rates increase for the coming year that is below the level of inflation, an extraordinary achievement considering the cost of living crisis. We’re reducing costs while maintaining services, what a good council should do. I am looking forward to the final version of the Annual Plan coming through for adoption in June.”
Sue Davidson, Kaipara District Council’s General Manager for Sustainable Growth and Investment says “there has been considerable work done by staff to get to this point.”
“Under Council’s direction earlier this year, the team has continued their work identifying savings and trimming costs across the organisation, while still maintaining the planned work programme for the 2022-2023 year. As a result we have been able to present some positive figures showing a much smaller rates rise than was previously projected.”
The projected rates increase for the targeted water by meter charge has also come down slightly, from the initial projection of 17.74 percent to 14.16 percent, after negotiating and finalising operational contracts. The projected increase also reflects legislative requirements imposed by Taumata Arowai, the new water services regulator for Aotearoa New Zealand. From 1 July 2022 Council is required to complete additional water testing, risk management plans and health and safety reviews.
Some of the major projects planned for the 2022-2023 year include the District Plan Review, building the balance tank for Mangawhai’s Community Wastewater Scheme, construction of the Kaihu Valley Trail, upgrades to protect existing stopbanks alongside the western side of the Northern Wairoa River between Dargaville and Te Kopuru, the continuation of work on Mangawhai’s shared path network, and a body of Climate Change work.
The Annual Plan 2022-2023 will be brought to Elected Members for adoption at the 30 June Council meeting. The new rates will take effect 01 July 2022.
What is a Long Term Plan and an Annual Plan?
Every three years Council develops a Long Term Plan (LTP) in consultation with the community. The Long Term Plan (LTP) sets the Council's strategic direction and work programme for the 10 years ahead. It outlines the services the Council will provide, the projects to be undertaken, the cost of doing this work, how it will be paid for and how the performance for each shall be measured. Our current Long Term PlanTowards a Better Kaipara-Long Term Plan 2021 - 2031(LTP) was adopted on 30 June 2021, following community consultation.
In the two years between adopting an LTP, an annual plan is developed. The Annual Plan is a yearly update on what has been agreed through the LTP, highlighting any budget changes and work plans for each specific year.