Time to talk Annual Plan and rates

28 Apr 2023, 3:54 PM

The Kāpiti Coast District Council has kicked off a month-long information campaign to help get the community up to speed on the Council’s Annual Plan and the average rates increase for 2023/24. 

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow says the information campaign is a necessary and crucial step on Council’s path to adopting the Annual Plan and setting rates on 29 June 2023.  

“The Annual Plan is an important document because it impacts everyone living in the Kāpiti Coast District,” says Mayor Holborow. 

“Our Annual Plan will lay out all the mahi (work) we intend to do between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024. It will detail the planned activities, services, and projects we plan to progress and why, and how much things are likely to cost.” 

Mayor Holborow says the Council has made the call to stick to delivering on year three of our Long-term Plan 2021-41, the plan we consulted the community on in 2021, as work to make major changes would have needed to have started last year.  

“Councillors came together early in the triennium and agreed not to make significant changes. This would have seen staff scrambling to consult when Councillors were requesting forward work programmes and wanted to focus on the long-term thinking required to move this district forward in the most sustainable way possible given the challenges we face.  

“In our Annual Plan we’ll continue to invest in our resilience, making sure we have the infrastructure, services, and facilities we need to meet the challenges we are facing and support our whole community to thrive.  

“We’re progressing projects that are important to our communities including the Waikanae Library, Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre, the Ōtaki Beach Pavillion upgrade, helping to address housing availability and affordability where it makes sense, and improving our district's resilience to extreme weather events.” 

Chief Executive Darren Edwards says while he is excited for the year ahead, Council is going to need to stay agile. 

“Delivering our work programme for 2023/24 is going to be far from plain sailing. The cost of delivering our projects and services continues to increase, and we have supply chain challenges and workforce shortages to contend with too,” says Mr Edwards. 

“We’re going to be approaching our work programme with caution – tracking our progress carefully, revisiting costs and timelines as needed and reporting back to our community if and when things change.”  

Council has set the average rates increase at 7.8 percent, just below the 7.9 percent forecast in our Long-term Plan. This will vary depending on the location and value of the property. 

“The reality is, we need rates to deliver for our community – we can’t continue to invest in our resilience and maintain our levels of service without an increase,” says Mayor Holborow. 

“Setting rates each year is one of the hardest jobs of Council, especially when we are all experiencing challenging economic conditions. The increase is mainly driven by external factors such as inflation, interest rates, increased personnel costs and depreciation, all of which are having a significant impact on the cost of our work programme.  

“We know times are tough. It’s important to know there is help available for some low-income households. Please get in touch with Council to find out more and check eligibility.” 

Greater Wellington Regional Council (Greater Wellington) is also proposing to increase rates by an average of 17.8 percent across residential, business, and rural ratepayers. The Kāpiti Coast District Council collects these rates on their behalf.  

“You can look up the Greater Wellington rates increase for your property by using our property search function on our website (www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/property-search),” says Mayor Holborow. 

“Council appreciates that this is a double whammy for rate payers, and the increase Greater Wellington is proposing is higher than what was forecast in its Long-term Plan. I encourage you to visit the Greater Wellington website (www.gw.govt.nz) to learn more about what they intend to deliver for the region, and for Kāpiti over 2023/24.” 

Mayor Holborow says while Council is not inviting feedback on this plan, as changes to the Long-term Plan are very minor, Council wants to ensure it acts on the things that matter most to the community.

To do this it will be providing a lot more opportunities for people to have their say and get involved in Council’s decisions.  

“Over the coming year we will be working with our Iwi Partners and Community Boards to plan and engage with the community on confirming our new strategic priorities, developing a new community vision and accompanying blueprint for change, and the next long-term plan. Elected members are already talking with staff about what this might look like and are looking forward to starting this important conversation. 

“In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about the Annual Plan 2023/24 and what it means for you. Learn more about our Annual Plan and rates for 2023/24 on our website.”