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Annual Plan consultation set to begin

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Council is about to start consulting with the community on the Annual Plan 2022/2023.

Every year, the Wairoa District Council develops an Annual Plan which sits within the Long-Term Plan and sets the budget and rates amount for the upcoming year and describes the activities and community outcomes it hopes to achieve for the district. The 2022/2023 Annual Plan consultation will continue to focus on the costs of Levels of Service, and what the community expects from Council.

Mayor Craig Little said hearing from people throughout the district is really important. “We want feedback so we can learn what is important to you and how you want Wairoa to look and be in the future.

“We want our community to have meaningful input into our upcoming plan while understanding what it costs to run the district, and how, by changing where the money is spent, that can affect the services we deliver.

“The Annual Plan process is also a chance for people to tell us about other opportunities they think Council should be involved in.”

“During last year’s consultation on the Long-Term Plan, feedback indicated that current levels of service were about right, so we have prepared a plan around how we can continue to deliver these sustainably.  However, we recognise the costs to deliver these services are increasing, as they are across the board throughout New Zealand. 

“We are particularly asking for your input around requests for additional funding from the Wairoa Community Centre and Wairoa Museum. If Council continues to fund these two vital community assets at the same level as we currently are, the rates increase would remain at an average increase of about 8.2%, as indicated in the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan.

“We need to hear from our community so you can tell us if you have an appetite to increase funding to these important community facilities, in line with their increased costs, which would result in an average rate increase of around 9.5% for the coming year. 

Mr Little said it’s also important to note the impacts of the Wairoa District Rating Revaluation which was carried out by Quotable Value effective August 1, 2021. The revaluation figures show the total rateable value of the 7,036 properties within the Wairoa district has significantly increased.

The Council determines rate requirements by considering the cost of services the district needs and subtracts revenue from fees and charges and other sources, which leaves the rates required to run the district. That rate requirement is then shared across the district based on each property’s current valuation.

“The valuation is only a means of levying/distributing the rates across the district. 

“Once we see the effects of the revaluations and proposed rates on all properties, we can then make decisions around whether any of the six differentials introduced through last year’s rates review will need to be adjusted.”

Consultation on the Annual Plan begins next Thursday, May 5 and will run for a month finishing on June 5.

“This year, as part of keeping our community safe from COVID-19 while still engaging, our consultation will include a face-to-face and online community meeting, online engagement and a social media programme.

The hybrid meeting will take place in town with elected members and any members of the public who would like to attend, as well as a Zoom capability for those people who don’t want to attend in person. This meeting will take place from 5pm at the War Memorial Hall.

Online engagement will be via website Council’s website, This will go live on May 5 and the consultation document plus support documents will be available. Submissions can be completed via this site or by using the submission form in the hardcopy Annual Plan Consultation Document which is available from the Council office on Queen Street.

“We welcome your involvement in this process as we face the challenges and build our community’s future together.”

27 April 2022

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