Fuseworks Media

‘Council is forging a future, together’

The Hurunui District Council (HDC) Long Term Plan (LTP) Consultation Document ‘Forging a Future, Together,’ was adopted by Council on Tuesday morning 26 March 2024. It will be circulated around Hurunui District through a formal consultation process from Wednesday 27 March, submissions will close on Monday 29 April.

The Consultation Document outlines which services HDC will provide for the next ten years in its 2024-34 Long Term Plan, including what services will cost and at what levels rates will be set.

Chief Financial Officer Jason Beck said that adopting the Consultation Document maximises opportunities for people around the district to submit their feedback.

Council has allowed for a total of $358 million of Capital Expenditure over the course of the 10 years, but discussion about the age and condition of infrastructure owned by Council highlighted the fact that funding constraints means Council does not simply replace every asset when it reaches the end of its theoretical useful life.

“It’s always a balancing act in replacing assets, we prefer to replace based on performance, so we have put more detail around that,” said Beck.

Mayor Marie Black supported Beck, claiming the Consultation Document is a comprehensive summary of information, enabling people to learn about and understand how their rate money is spent and what Council plans for.

“We have certainty that our ratepayers will have the confidence within the Consultation Document to make decisions they consider to be important, to forge a future together.”

Mayor Black said a number of key issues are facing ratepayers to meet increased costs imposed on Council to upgrade drinking and wastewater supplies, meet regulatory changes in how to rate for stormwater, and maintain the roading renewal programme to the desired standard.

“We are also seeking community views on financial modelling for the Queen Mary Hospital, south site.”

Beck said rates levels are hugely important across the district, and Council has kept concerns firmly at the forefront.

“Due to the economic climate, a rates rise has been unavoidable, but we have done our best to make the number workable to balance activity and affordability for everyone.”

Rate levels for the next 10 years make up part of the LTP, Council has set its rates increase for 2024-25(Year 1) at 12.37%, 14.26% for 2025-26 (Year 2), and 4.94% for 2026-2027 (Year 3). For the remainder of the LTP after Year 3, the limits have been set at a 5.00% increase, although the rate increase projections for the remainder of the 10 years are generally well short of that increase.

In April, public meetings will be held throughout the Hurunui District, offering ratepayers and residents a chance to provide feedback. During these meetings, attendees will also have the opportunity to submit feedback on the draft Reserves Management Act, Fees and Charges, Representation Review, and draft SouthWard Spatial Plan.

More information about all these topics and how to submit feedback can be found online atwww.hurunui.govt.nz under Submissions, or by dropping in to any service centre.

The LTP will come into effect on 1 July, 2024.

Public meetings will be as follows:

Thursday 4 April – Free community BYO movie night, Amberley Domain, 6.30pm.Wednesday 10 April – West ward public meeting, Hanmer Springs Library, 6.30pm.Monday 15 April – East ward public meeting, Knox Community Centre, Cheviot, 6.30pm. Councillors will be conducting their own drop-in sessions with local groups. Throughout April – Amberely Farmers’ Market and Hanmer Springs Village Market.

Consultation webpage:https://www.hurunui.govt.nz/council/alerts?item=id%3A2plfgkm3w17q9s60ya0m

 

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