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Greater Wellington to vote on 19.8% rates increase consultation

Greater Wellington’s Long Term Plan Committee will this Thursday vote on adopting the consultation material for its Long -Term Plan 2024-34 (LTP). The Plan, which proposes a 19.8% average regional rates rise for 2024/25, will then move to public consultation if approved.

The Long Term Plan Committee, made up of councillors and mana whenua, will consider the LTP’s draft Consultation Document and Supporting Information, which includes propositions to purchase Horizons Regional Council’s stake in CentrePort Limited and lease land for two new bus depots in Lyall Bay and north Wellington, in line with Metlink’s Asset Control Strategy.

Greater Wellington and Long Term Plan Committee Chair Daran Ponter says the benefits and risks of each proposal have been set out for the public to consider.

“Public feedback is integral to setting the direction of our region through the Long Term Plan. It gives councillors confidence that we’re making balanced decisions that account for our communities’ views on rates and regional priorities.

“This year, public consultation topics include two of the most significant decisions I’ve seen during my time on council, which will greatly affect the future of public transport and maritime trade in our region”.

The LTP is reviewed every three years, with consultation focussing on new activities or changes to key projects, that will significantly impact council’s budget, or the levels of service provided by council.

“Since the last review in 2021, inflation, insurance premiums, interest rates and operating costs have risen, putting significant pressure on the first year of this updated Plan,” Cr Ponter says.

In December 2023, Council signalled double-digit rates rise was likely this year, with lower increases to follow.

“We’ve worked hard to find savings by keeping personnel positions vacant, reducing operational expenditure, rephasing and reprioritising projects, as well as increasing borrowing terms,” Cr Ponter says.

Projects in progress or with funding committed also pushed rates up. “This includes vital flood defence upgrades in the Hutt Valley and the design and planning of two storage lakes for bulk water supply.”

Residents are also being asked for general feedback on activities such as:

– increasing funding for pest management and flood protection programmes.

– restoration work in regional parks,

– renewable electricity generation through solar arrays and farms to meet growing electricity needs for the rail network, electric buses and bulk water supply.

Consultation on the LTP Review opens on 18 March 2024 and submissions will close on 22 April 2024.

More information can be found in the Long-Term Plan Committee order paper: Greater Wellington – Long Term Plan Committee (gw.govt.nz)

To find out more about the LTP Review 2024, please visit: gw.govt.nz/LongTermPlan

 

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