Media Release: draft LTP and CD adopted

7 May 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

Council’s Long Term Plan 2021 – 2031 opens for submissions

Consultation on the Westland District Council draft Long Term Plan 2021 – 2031 begins at 9am on Monday, 10 May 2021. Residents and other interested parties can make submissions until 12pm on Friday, 11 June.

Mayor Bruce Smith says, “The Councillors and I are really keen to hear what our community thinks about this Long Term Plan. We want to encourage people to read the Consultation Document and make their submissions to us. Councillors have a job to do, ensuring that the Council provides the facilities and the services that the community needs in the long-term, a job that became more difficult with the arrival of Covid-19 in March of 2020. This required an immediate change in strategic planning to focus on survival and to work closely with Government as they sought to stimulate the New Zealand economy with fast tracked infrastructure expenditure.

We encourage ratepayers to give feedback with their aspirations for the future and how that influences this Long Term Plan.

With this plan, we aim to provide the best value for money that we can. It has taken Councillors and staff about 18 months to write the plan and we were very conscious over the last 12 months of the real struggles that the community has faced.

The levels of service that we provide to the community won’t change but we will look into how we can make improvements to what we are doing in some areas. We have been fortunate to receive a lot of government funding over the past three years, and we will continue to apply for external funding whenever we can to reduce the costs for our ratepayers. We must thrive to survive as that’s the reality of a small ratepayer base.”

Council is consulting on the following:

  • Is our Uniform Annual General Charge set at the right level?
    • Council proposes to decrease the UAGC from 21.7% to 17.5%, which means that the fixed UAGC rate will decrease to $520.80 per rateable property and ratepayers who have properties with a lower capital value will pay lower general rates.
  • Should we transfer ownership of our elderly housing portfolio to Destination Westland?
    • Council’s preferred option is to transfer the elderly housing portfolio to Destination Westland, which will lower rates by 0.9% and free up Council staff to concentrate on core infrastructure projects.
  • If we should invest in further improvements to the Hokitika Centennial Swimming Pool?
    • Council proposes extending the swimming pool to include a stand-alone toddler or learner’s swimming pool. This would cost about $2.8 million and be debt funded. Operating costs would increase in 2025/2026 and increase rates about 1% based on current calculations.

 

The Consultation Document also provides information on the proposed capital plan for the next 30 years, how Council intends to pay for our work, and forecast rates and borrowing for the next 10 years.

Councillors and staff will be available to speak to the community about the content of the Long Term Plan and Consultation Document at community drop-in sessions at the following venues during the weeks of 11 May – 25 May 2021:

Location

Venue

Dates

Time

Haast

St John’s rooms

 

5 Tautahi Road (behind the medical centre)

Wednesday 12 May

3pm – 4pm

Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier Community Centre

 

51 Cook Flat Road, Fox Glacier

Thursday 13 May

10am – 11am

Franz Josef

Franz Josef Community Centre

 

6 Main Road,

Franz Josef

Thursday 13 May

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Ōkārito

Donovan’s Store

 

Ōkārito 7886

Thursday 13 May

4pm -5pm

Harihari

Harihari

Community Hall

 

Main Road, Harihari

Wednesday 19 May

2pm – 3pm

Ross

Ross Centennial Hall

 

1 Moorhouse Street, Ross

Wednesday 19 May

4pm – 5pm

Kumara

Kumara Memorial Hall

 

58 Seddon Street, Kumara

Thursday 20 May

4pm – 5pm

Hokitika

Council Chamber

 

36 Weld Street, Hokitika

Tuesday 25 May

4pm – 6pm

 

Submissions can be made online: https://www.westlanddc.govt.nz/draft-ltp-2021-2031-submission-form or by downloading the submission form from: https://www.westlanddc.govt.nz/sites/default/files/LTP%202021-2031_Submi... and returning it via email to consult@westlanddc.govt.nz, dropping it into our Hokitika Service Centre or posting it to: Long Term Plan 2021-2031Consultation, Westland District Council, Private Bag 704 Hokitika 7842, from 9am, Monday 10 May 2021 – 12pm, Friday 11 June 2021.

Submitters can speak to Council at the submissions hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday, 15 and 16 June, with deliberations and decisions on Thursday 17 June.

ENDS

Please Note: Links are not live until Monday 10 May, 9am.

Media enquiries to:

Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor

Emma.rae@westlanddc.govt.nz

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