Have your say and tell us what you think is the message from Wairoa District Councillors.
On Friday, councillors adopted the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan Consultation Document at an Extraordinary Council meeting.
Councillors and staff will now engage with the community over the month of May and want to hear how people would like the Wairoa district to look over the next decade.
Every three years Council develops a Long-Term Plan which describes its activities and the community outcomes it hopes to achieve over the next 10 years.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said this is the opportunity for people to tell Council where they think it should spend its money.
The 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan consultation focusses on Levels of Service and what the community expects from Council.
“We want to help people understand what it costs to run the district, and how, by changing where the dollars are spent, that can affect the services we deliver. Members of the community are able to choose whether to spend more, the same, or less on a service, and see how that decision impacts on cost, rates, risk and debt.
“There is a careful balance between Council providing the services that people want, while still being able to afford to provide them. Many of the costs we have to budget for are mandated national legislation compliance costs and reporting requirements that Council, as a responsible entity, has to adhere to.
“We are a small Council and operate a complex business delivering a diverse range of 23 different activities. We do have scalability challenges and have developed a financial strategy that sets the Council’s direction of travel for the next 10 years.
“The Long-Term Plan Consultation Document proposes an average rate increase of 10% for the first year of the plan (2021/22) followed by three years of average increases of around 8%. The average rates increase over the 10 years of the plan is 5.6%.
“The next four years will be hard but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“This document focusses on delivering a similar level of service to what is presently delivered as well as servicing debt and replenishing reserves. It is about looking after our community today, and in the future.
“Previously we have listened to the community and kept rates affordable and as low as possible because we had reserves to achieve that. We no longer have that luxury and have to re-set our trajectory to ensure we are in a position to look after future generations.
“We have been very clear in our messaging around the huge cost increases, well above inflation, particularly in the Three Waters and roading spaces. Historically Council has been absorbing these increased costs by using its reserves, borrowing, not rating for all depreciation, selling assets and deferring some expenditure.
“However, to achieve financial sustainability we need to start rating to recover these ever-increasing costs.
“We really do encourage you to have your say on what matters to you so you can be a part of planning for Wairoa’s future. You may have ideas that we haven’t thought of and we welcome your input.”
To view the consultation document online head to www.consultations.nz/wdc. Submissions can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. People can pick up a copy of the Consultation document and feedback booklet from the Council offices on Queen Street or write us a letter and send us your thoughts to P O Box 54, Wairoa.
Consultation will run during the month of May and will include the following community sessions:
Monday 10th May, 10am - 2pm, The Craft Shop, Tuai
Wednesday 12th May, 10am - 2pm, Osler’s Bakery, Wairoa
Monday 17th May, 10am - 2pm, Nuhaka Shop, Nuhaka
Monday 17th May, 5:30pm - 7:30pm, Community meeting, War Memorial Hall, Wairoa
Wednesday 19th May, 10am - 2pm, BJ’s Dairy, Frasertown
Thursday 20th May,10am - 2pm, Public Rest Area SH2, Raupunga
Friday 21st May,10am - 2pm, Sunset Point, Mahia
Submissions close on Tuesday, 1 June 2021 at 4.30pm.
“We invite your participation as we face the challenges and build our community’s future together.”
4 May 2021
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