Council adopts 3 Year Plan 2018-2021

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Kaikōura District Council has today adopted its’ 3 Year Plan 2018-2021. The final Three Year Plan has taken community priorities on board and remains positive and forward thinking. It sets big work programmes to tackle some of the districts’ biggest challenges and is realistic and honest about what this work will cost Kaikōura ratepayers. 

Mayor Winston Gray said, “post-earthquake Council faced a tough choice, continue to do things the way they had been and be unable to make the improvements the district has been asking for or work out what funding Council needs to be able to do its job well and then ask ratepayers to face a larger increase.” 

 

“Doing our job well means improving our services, addressing deferred maintenance and infrastructure deficits and ensuring Council has the expertise it needs to make good decisions and support our district. Investing in our roads, buildings, people and economy will make sure the district is in a good position to take advantage of future opportunities,” he said.

"It’s about keeping an eye on the horizon. It’s all too easy to make short-sighted decisions that might save a few dollars but end up costing the district in the long run. We have to set Kaikōura up to succeed and that means investing on our Council, our community and our economic development.”

“Ratepayers across the district will face rates rises that are larger than previous years to pay for these improvements but we have done everything we can to keep costs as low as possible including using $600,000 of our forestry assets to reduce the rates increases for years one and two. What all this means is that next year’s rates for a residential property valued at $420,000 will increase by around $250 depending on the value of the property, the rating zone it's in, the water scheme it uses and if any other targeted rates apply.”  

 

“Kaikōura has a small ratepayer base with a lower than average median income and an aging demographic. Council knows it needs to act now to make sure it has a financially sustainable future and that our rates are kept affordable for our ratepayers. Over the next three years the Council will investigate how additional revenue can be raised, where additional assets can be sold and how to make sure that Councils staffing and operating costs are kept to the minimum needed. Council will also review its’ rates model to make sure it’s as equitable as possible” said Mayor Gray.  

As well as adopting the 3 Year Plan, Council renewed its’ rates remission policy. The policy reduces rates for uninhabitable or unsafe properties and has saved ratepayers over $140,000 since its’ introduction after the November 2016 earthquake. Council is also encouraging all eligible ratepayers to apply for rates rebates from central government that saved ratepayers over $50,000 last year. In addition Council offers flexible payment options including fortnightly or monthly payments. 

 

Other changes made as a result of the over 133 submissions received include committing to seek funding and work with the community to make the Scout Hall weatherproof and safe to use, providing $200,000 of additional funding across youth, sport and recreation and community facilities and infrastructure, allocating $200,000 of additional funding to Councils roading budget and adjusting how funding for economic development will be raised with commercial ratepayers paying a larger share.  

Despite lots of feedback on the pool, Council did not feel it had the technical and financial information it needs to make an informed decision on plans for a new pool. The decision has been deferred until December 2018 and the pop-up pool will continue to operate in the meantime.  The Council is also in the process of forming a Responsible Camping Working Group to tackle the issue of Freedom Camping in Kaikōura. Relevant information from submissions about Freedom Camping will be passed on to the working group to consider.

 

More information:


Background

For 2018/19 rural farms rates will rise 5-6%, semi-rural properties between 5% and 7%, commercial properties between 4% and 7% and urban properties between 10% and 13%.

The table below shows examples of the rates increase in dollar figures for each of the three years of the plan for three example properties across Kaikōura district. 

 

$ Impact

 

Ratepayer

2016/2017

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021

Average  annual  increase  

Residential (Medium value - $420k)

$2,316.37

$2,574,97

 

Increase $264

 

2,919.15 

 

Increase $344

3,140.61

Increase $221

 

$313

 

Commercial

(Medium value - $730k)

$6,507.02

$6,858.22

 

Increase $351

 $7,410.26

 

Increase $568

 $7,844.33

 

Increase $434

 

$451

Farm (medium value - $4m)

$7,400.03

 

 

7,784.17

 

Increase $384

  8,471.12

 

Increase $687

 $ 9,823.98

 

Increase $1353

$808

 

Working for future financial sustainability

Council is also undertaking work to review and, where possible, reduce future rates increases. As part of the Government’s 2018 budget Kaikōura District Council was provided with funding to work toward becoming financially sustainable.

This work is still in its earliest stages but will include identifying how Council can improve and optimise its financial position. This will include:

  • Considering if the cost of debt financing could be lowered
  • A strategic review of all assets to identify assets which could be divested to build reserves
  • Ongoing reviews of fees and charges to look at where costs can be passed directly to those who use the services
  • Investigations to identify new revenue opportunities
  • A rating review after the revaluation in November 2018 to make sure that our rating model is equitable and fit for purpose
  • An investigation to determine what structure Kaikōura District Council needs to be fit-for-purpose in the future.

18 July 2018