No stone left unturned as the Kāpiti Coast faces unavoidable rates increase
31 Mar 2023, 1:49 PM
Yesterday, Kāpiti Coast District Council elected members took part in the third and final workshop on the requirements of the Annual Plan 2023/24, including the impact on rates and changes to fees and charges.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Holborow says Council has settled on an average rates increase of 7.8 percent, slightly below the 7.9 percent forecast for year three of our Long-term Plan 2021-41.
“We know times are tough, with cost pressures impacting households and business alike, so we have worked hard to reduce the impact. No stone has been left unturned.
“The reality is Council is facing rising costs on all fronts. The average rates increase is not because of any new spending, it is driven by external factors such as inflation, interest rates, increased labour costs and depreciation.
“At this point in time a rates increase is simply unavoidable. We are not alone in this; all Councils are in the same boat.
“I am proud we have been able to significantly reduce the average rates increase from the 14 percent first forecast back in December 2022. Even at the second workshop, when the average increase was sitting at 8.2 percent, we asked staff to go back and tighten belts further – which they did.”
Chief Executive Darren Edwards says the impact of the proposed average rates increase will vary between households, depending on where you live and the value of your property.
“Later In April, we will have a rates search function available on our website. You will be able to enter your address and see how your rates will change for 2023/24.
“Help will be available to those who are struggling via our rates rebates and remissions schemes and as prioritised in our Long-term Plan, we are continuing to explore ways Council could generate revenue in the future and reduce our reliance on rates.
Mayor Holborow says staff now have the direction they need to draft the Annual Plan and associated rates paper, which will come back to Council for discussion and adoption on 29 June 2023.
“We have had to make some tough calls, and some assumptions relating to government reform, but I am confident our plan will deliver for our communities over the next year – a year of navigating change and the challenges and opportunities it brings.
“Especially challenging will be getting our heads around the significant reform packages Central Government has in progress – Three Waters, resource management, and a review of local government. Each will have a big impact on us and the mahi we carry out for our communities.
“Through our discussions we agreed that, in the face of change and other challenges (climate change, housing need etc.), we need to stick to delivering year three of our Long-term Plan 2021-41 and invest in our resilience,” says Mayor Holborow.
“We cannot let things fall to the wayside; it would be unfair to burden future generations with the costs associated with resting on our laurels.
Mayor Holborow says Council will keep the community informed of how the Annual Plan is shaping up over the coming months.
“As there have been no major changes to our strategic direction, outcomes, levels of service, or strategic assets as laid out in year three of our Long-term Plan, we will not be consulting on this plan but will be running a public information campaign.
“Elected members are also very keen to get a better understanding of what matters most to you, especially as we start thinking about a vision for future Kāpiti and our next Long-term Plan.
“We have started to discuss what this community engagement might look like with staff, how we might show up differently, and we’re looking forward to talking to you all soon.”
For more information on the Annual Plan 2023/24 visit kapiticoast.govt.nz/DeliveringForKapiti.