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Planning for the future

Infographic community finance

A draft financial strategy setting the Wairoa District Council’s direction of travel for the next 10-years was adopted by councillors at Tuesday’s extraordinary council meeting.

Councillors adopted draft budgets for the next 10-years prioritising looking after future generations.

This year’s average rates increase is expected to be around 10%.

Mayor Craig Little said the next four years will be hard but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“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.

“Our strategy, which will be communicated via our Long-Term Plan 2021-31, will focus on delivering a similar level of service to what is presently delivered as well as serving debt and replenishing reserves.

“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 be rating to recover these ever-increasing costs, many of which relate to legislative change and compliance requirements that we must adhere to.

“Our goal remains to make Wairoa the best it can be both now and for generations to come.”

“It is important we hear from our community during the Long-Term Plan process.

“Tell us 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.

“Consultation will run during the month of May and will include community meetings and a chance to make submissions. We invite your participation as we face the challenges and build our community’s future together.”

 

14 April 2021

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