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Annual Plan to reflect local priorities


Westland residents shared their views at the Council’s draft Annual Plan 2024/2025 hearing on Wednesday 15 May. With 20 passionate speakers and strong written submissions, the community made sure they played their part in shaping the final plan.

“We wish to sincerely thank all those who put the time into submitting to Council,” says Mayor Helen Lash.  “There were some extensive, well researched submissions written with a strong passionate tone which sat in alignment with many of those who spoke on the day.  We thank you for your strong focus and the detailing of your concerns along with the firm direction for Council to meet community needs.”

Decisions made by the elected members following the submissions reflected the persuasive sentiment expressed and expectation that Council would prioritise community wellbeing. 

“The importance of community wellbeing cannot be downplayed, especially in today’s environment,” Mayor Lash observes.  “It also rightly features in the Government’s expectations for all Councils to focus on this commitment within their communities.”

After listening to and reading the feedback from the community, the Council responded by reinstating the funding for the Glacier Country Tourism Group. Additionally, funding for the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Community Development Officer roles was retained and increased to $35,500 each for three years; all of which are funded directly by the Glacier Country communities. The Council also reinstated $62,000 funding for the Regent Theatre and a grant of $5000 each for Greypower and the Lions Club to clean toilets at their respective facilities. The Council also agreed to retain the Hokitika Area Promotions Rate for the 2025/2026 year.

Other decisions include removing the West Coast Wilderness Trail Totara Bridge project from the Annual Plan and selling the Pakiwaitara Building, following proper legal procedures under the Local Government Act. All Jackson Bay Wharf, the Hokitika Swimming Pool, and the i-site activities will transfer to the Council as of 8 July 2024. However, the proposed transfer of the maintenance contract for the West Coast Wilderness to Westroads was rescinded.

The Council will consider how these decisions impact rates before the adoption of the final Annual Plan on 26 June 2024. Further amendments may be incorporated into the final Plan. 


Media enquiries to:

Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor