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Regional Council readies for consultation on its Long Term Plan 2024-27

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is getting ready to take its proposed three-year Long Term Plan out for consultation.

In the Corporate and Strategy Committee meeting on Wednesday 21 February, a project update will be provided, showing the headwinds the council is facing.

Public consultation is due to begin in mid-April and will run for four weeks.

Regional Council Chair Hinewai Ormsby says this Three-Year Plan is about how to put the organisation on a good footing in a challenging financial environment and deliver on its promise to our community and the Crown for $250 million of flood resilience and mitigation for land designated Category 2.

“Like other councils and businesses in Hawke’s Bay, we are having to deal with the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle, incurring unavoidable costs such as increased insurance, passenger transport costs, the cumulative impact of inflation, reduced investment income as well as decisions in previous years to defer rates increases due to Covid.

To redirect spending to committed recovery work and cover unavoidable costs, tough trade-off choices are needed. The services that Council can stop or temporarily slow are what Council will be seeking community feedback on.

Council is likely to be seeking community feedback on a significant rates rise in year one and two of the Three-Year Plan. A decision on the proposed rates increase figure is still to be made.

“We held back on the impact of these cost increases as long as we could. We have gone through things with a fine-tooth comb to see how we can keep the rates increase as low as possible, such as reducing overheads and setting savings targets for fleet, Information Communication Technology and headcount.

“Under expert advice, we investigated selling assets but are instead looking at how we can build intergenerational financial sustainability, through better utilising our investment portfolios.”

“We welcome and encourage the community’s views on our plan when we open consultation in April this year,” she said.

In September 2023, an Order in Council under the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Act (SWERLA) was made to replace the ten-year Long Term Plan 2024-25 with a three-year plan. This change supports the councils in cyclone-impacted areas to focus on recovery.

Councillors will consider the project update at the Corporate and Strategy Committee meeting on Wednesday 21 February in the Regional Council’s chambers, where the public can attend, or watch a live stream on the Regional Council’s Facebook page.

 

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