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New look and fresh approach for 2019/20 Annual Plan

Plans are underway to produce a new look Wairoa District Council Annual Plan document complete with a fresh, streamlined approach.

Council’s Group Manager Information and Customer Experience Kimberley Tuapawa is responsible for producing this year’s Annual Plan document and says Council has designed and developed it in the same way for many years.

“We use a lot of content, much of which is duplicated from Council’s Long-Term Plan. But changes in legislation, which has made the Annual Plan an exceptions document, and has removed the need for us to duplicate content.”

“So, we’ve rethought our approach and are planning to reduce it down to create a more elegant and streamlined document that’s easier for our community to understand.”

“We’ll put key content at the beginning and try to explain complex information in an easy way.”

“Our people are mostly interested in if there will be a rates increase, and if so, what that will be, what those rates are paying for and an update on Council’s key projects.”

“For their benefit, we can improve the structure, narrative and overall presentation to ensure that content flows in a succinct but harmonious manner.”

She said the Council has also researched other Council’s Annual Plans, found ones that have been done well, and modelled their approach.

“Rather than reinventing the wheel, we’ve found ideas that have worked really well, and incorporated these aspects into our design.”

“In doing this, we’re also adapting to the needs of our people, and I believe the benefits in doing that are significant.”

Dr Tuapawa said this year’s Annual Plan has no significant or material differences overall to the Long-Term Plan which means a formal consultation process is not required under the Local Government Act Section 95.

“We will however still take our information out to the community, and that will include parking the Council caravan in the main street and being available to answer questions and discuss aspects of the Plan.”

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the information in the Annual Plan hasn’t changed significantly enough to necessitate further consultation which will be a saving for the ratepayer.

“Year Two of the Long-Term Plan signalled a potential average rates increase of approximately five percent and Council is committed to keeping within that threshold.

“Five percent is the average figure used and there will be unders and overs across the district depending on where your property is and the value of your property.”

It should also be remembered the district was revalued last year by Quotable Value and this will also have an effect.

The Annual Plan needs to be adopted by June 30.

Council has an obligation to produce an Annual Plan for each financial year between the three yearly Long-Term Plan.

The most recent Long-Term Plan was produced last year for the 2018-2028 period and is a key strategic document which sets out the Council’s priorities and costings for the next 10 years.

The Annual Plan has an operational focus including the annual budget and rates requirement.

6 May 2019

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