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Long term plan deferred for a year – Waimate District Council

The Waimate District Council resolved to defer the Long Term Plan for a year at an Ordinary Council Meeting yesterday.

This means that Council will produce an enhanced 2024-25 Annual Plan, which will go out for public consultation later in April and have additional reporting requirements.

Council will now produce a nine-year Long Term Plan for 2025-34. There will only be two years between the next two Long Term Plans to bring the three-yearly planning cycle back into line. The decision comes after the Government gave local authorities the flexibility to defer their Long Term Plans amid uncertainty around the future of three waters service delivery.

While the previous Government’s Three Waters Reforms have been scrapped, it is still not explicitly clear what the Local Water Done Well Policy will mean for Council. New legislation will be introduced in mid-2024 and December 2024.

Mayor Craig Rowley said the significant policy gaps left by Government made it impractical to accurately plan the next 10 years of budgets and work programmes.

“We will be in a much better position next year to make a Long Term Plan when we have more clarity about which rules and regulations will be in place.”

“We did not want to get into a position where we had gone out for consultation, made the plan, and then have to scrap parts of it which are no longer relevant because of changes which are outside our control.”

“The last few years have been challenging and frustrating because of constant changes in legislation and Government direction. We are hopefully through the worst of it and will soon be in a position to make long term strategic decisions without having to constantly be reacting to new regulations.”


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