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Horizons Regional Council’s draft Long-term Plan now open for consultation

Horizons Regional Council is calling on our community to ‘look long-term’ and have their say on the proposed 2024-2034 Long-term Plan (LTP), which was adopted for public consultation at Wednesday’s council meeting.

The draft LTP is Horizons’ plan for council’s activities, including how it will ensure sustainable use of the region’s natural resources for the next ten years – and how it proposes to rate for it.

Horizons is proposing a total rate increase of 12.9 per cent for 2024-25, 12.6 percent for 2025-26, and 9.2 per cent for 2026-27. These rates are averages across the region and will significantly differ from district to district due to factors such as property valuations and targeted rates for programmes such as passenger transport and drainage schemes.

Activities out for consultation include proposed options for levels of service to do with highly productive land mapping, options for taking an integrated catchment management approach, changes to river management asset insurance, freshwater activities, passenger transport services and cost recovery for the water metering programme. In addition council have proposed some changes to funding policies, including how drainage schemes are funded.

Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell encourages the community to have their say on any of these issues, or areas of Horizons’ work they may be passionate about.

“We have released a comprehensive consultation document which outlines each item for consultation, along with our updated strategic priorities and community outcomes, what we are planning for and what we have already committed to in the coming 10 years,” she says.

“The focus for this LTP has been on balancing increased demand on Council by central government, holding the line on progress we have made, meeting community expectations, while also considering increased climate related events and ageing populations. While we, like all councils across the country, are looking at large cost increases simply to provide our current levels of services due to inflationary pressures, we have also remained prudent in our spending wherever possible.”

“Our priority has been to remain true to our core business and aim to deliver what we believe our communities expect of us, ensuring we create a healthy environment where people are thriving.”

“This consultation document is a starting point for a conversation with council and we encourage you, our community to tell us what you think. This is your chance to tell us whether we have got it right, or whether we should be looking at things differently.”

The consultation period for Horizons’ Long-term plan runs from Friday 22 March through to Monday 22 April 2024. Information and submission forms are available online at www.haveyoursay.horizons.govt.nz. For hard copies of the consultation document or submission form, please visit your local Horizons service centre, or call 0508 800 800.

 

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