Council adopts Annual Plan 2023/24
Published 10 Jul 2023
At its Council meeting on Wednesday, 28 June, Tararua District Council adopted the Annual Plan for 2023/24.
The adoption of the Annual Plan is a significant milestone which confirms Council’s budget and work priorities for the coming year, while also taking into account the next Long-term Plan, which is currently being developed and planned to be adopted in 2024.
The main consultation item of this Annual Plan was the proposed average rates increase of 13.17%. This was more than double the projected 6.7% rise originally signalled in the Long-term Plan, which was the reason for public consultation. The 13.17% rates increase will impact different sectors differently. Rural areas will see a smaller increase, at an average of around 6%. The urban and commercial areas have a higher average increase of around 18%. This is because the costs of providing services vary by sector, with rising water and waste water costs mostly affecting the urban and commercial areas.
136 Annual Plan submissions were received during the consultation period, many raising affordability as a common theme.
In their foreword for the Annual Plan, Mayor Tracey Collis and Chief Executive Bryan Nicholson acknowledge that we are facing a period of challenge and change; “This is a tough decision, but one that is necessary to ensure we can continue to provide the services and infrastructure that our community, and our mokopuna - future generations, need to thrive. We continue to balance our small ratepayer base against the ever-increasing costs whilst recognising the squeeze on household budgets from increases in food, fuel and other costs.”
However, with the new Long-term Plan process now underway, the Mayor and CE are encouraging residents to be involved in this process, and help give elected members ideas on where we should be heading in the next decade.
“The Long-term Plan sets out our direction over the next 10 years. We all want to build an even better future for our district, and we need the community’s input to help us with that by telling us what they want, and what matters to them. At the same time, we need to be realistic about our financial constraints. We have a small ratepayer base, so even a small increase in spending can have a significant impact on rates. For example, an expense of $300,000 would add 1% to our rates,” says Mayor Tracey.
The Annual Plan 2023/24 is currently being published and will soon be available on the Council website. Hardcopies will also be available at Council Service Centres. As part of the Annual Plan process, new fees and charges for Council services were also adopted which are available on the Council website.