Message from the Mayor
Tēnā koutou katoa
On behalf of your elected members, I’m pleased to share with everyone in our community this consultation document for our Long-term Plan for 2021–41.
The plan we are consulting on reflects the many challenges we are facing including responding to COVID-19. This document has a lot of information because we want to share with you the complexities we are dealing with and ensure you have the context for telling us your views. Also, one of the recommendations from our organisation review was that we need to improve understanding of Council planning and operations and share more information about our progress.
Our proposed community outcomes
We are sticking with the vision agreed with the community in the last Long-term Plan. We have developed community outcomes to help keep our focus on the big issues we face. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our thinking including all the conversations and engagement over the past months and the ideas shared through 'What matters most'. We know people are passionate about our wonderful district. We have worked hard to distil the best ways Council can support our community’s aspirations and fulfil our responsibilities to contribute to wellbeing.
You will see that our outcomes reflect our big issues in strengthening our community, environment and economy. I am very proud that we have an outcome to focus on our Council–Mana Whenua relationship. As Rupene Waaka said in his message, our strong partnership is key to the future of our district’s development.
Our proposed programme to invest in good growth and resilience
This plan has a strong focus on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a specific recovery plan, which we will keep monitoring and reviewing. We have also determined the biggest contribution Council can make to recovery is to ramp up our projects and activities to stimulate our local economy and reduce the negative impacts. So, this is a stimulus plan and budget for the next few years. We have used the title 'Securing our future' because our proposed plan – especially our expanded capital works programme – is about delivering projects that support recovery and provide the infrastructure renewals and upgrades we need to maintain core services and be ready for our district’s expected growth.
What are the key decisions?
We’re inviting your views on four key decisions. Two of them are projects and two are proposals to explore new activity.
- Housing: we want to know if you agree we should take a bigger role in improving the supply of housing – which your councillors are conscious is an area of high concern for many in our community and becoming more urgent.
- Paekākāriki seawall: we need to ask your views on how we proceed now with the Paekākāriki seawall. We appreciate that looking again at the wall will be disappointing for some, but we have to do the right thing for the whole district. The costs have increased so much that it would not be responsible to proceed without further consideration and consultation.
- CCO: we recommend we set up a council-controlled organisation – CCO – for future activities. CCOs operate commercially and can generate a profit for our district, which we as Council can’t do, so this may be a way to reduce our dependence on rates income. They are used by many councils very effectively. We would consult with you separately in the future about any activities proposed for a CCO.
- Airport: our fourth decision is to ask your views on whether we should investigate how there might be a role for the Council in the airport to keep services going. Again, your elected members are aware this is of high public interest. Looking at a potential role in the airport will be complex and we need to keep in mind that the airport is privately owned so this is just about taking the first step to explore possibilities.
Our big issues
You will see that we are asking questions about our direction on our big issues too – including climate change, growth, and resilience. Your feedback will help us prioritise our actions. In this way, we see this as a ‘conversation document’ as well as a consultation one. For some of these big issues there is also specific consultation coming up in the future, and this is highlighted.
Costs and proposed average rates increase
We are facing rising costs on all fronts – including flow-on effects from the pandemic to material prices. This has meant some hard discussions. As you know, for the current year we limited the rates increase in response to the impacts of the pandemic. Now, like a number of councils, we are looking at a higher rates increase. For 2021/22, we are proposing an average rates increase of 7.8 percent. We have a high dependence on rates income and, as I mention earlier, this document signals how we might look to reduce this dependency in the future and ease the rates burden.
Deciding on our Long-term Plan
Please take time to review what’s proposed and share your views. You can do this online or pick up a printed version at our libraries or service centres. As your Council, we undertake to review all the comments we receive before we decide the final plan.
Toitū te whenua, toitū te wai, toitū te tāngata, toitū Kāpiti.
Mayor, Kāpiti Coast District