30 June 2022
The 2022/23 delivery plan adopted by Council today reflects its ongoing commitment to achieving better outcomes for Rotorua now and for the future, Mayor Steve Chadwick says.
The plan is consistent with what was signalled for Year 2 (2022/23) in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan (LTP) and includes a $143m capital works programme and an average general rates increase of 5.7%, which is below the current rate of inflation and was also signalled in the LTP.
“To be successful and deliver on our commitments set in our Long-term Plan 2021-2031, we must remain bold and committed, to push above our weight, to work effectively with current stakeholders and to forge new and enduring partnerships,” Mayor Chadwick says.
“We have achieved a lot as a district over the last nine years. Establishing this plan paves the way for the next council to continue to deliver and to work for all the people of Rotorua.”
The district’s challenges haven’t changed, she says.
“Setting and sticking to a direction based on the future and clear outcomes for all is what is needed to give our people the clarity and certainty expected.
“Our commitment to the future is evidenced in continuing to deliver on our five key priority areas within the second year of delivery [of the Long-term Plan].”
The key priority areas in the LTP are homes and thriving communities, infrastructure, community safety, economic development and climate change.
“Housing and safety remain the top two areas of focus. Alongside infrastructure investment, a solid economic base and attention to the impacts of climate change these priorities will shape the ‘Rotorua for Tomorrow’.”
Key aspects of the Year 2 delivery plan:
- $143m investment in infrastructure and community assets;
- Investment in housing and development support, community safety and economic development;
- Completion and re-opening of Sir Howard Morrison Centre;
- Completion of lakefront and forest developments;
- Work to start on wastewater treatment plant upgrade, construction phase to start on Tarawera wastewater reticulation, Aquatic Centre upgrade to start, further progress on museum restoration.
- A debt increase of approximately $84.4m, broadly in line with LTP and keeping Council’s debt level to within its limit;
- Average general rates increase of 5.7%. Increases will differ across properties and property types.
The 2022/23 delivery plan aligns with Year 2 of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan (LTP) adopted by Council last year and Mayor Chadwick says the level of activity set in the LTP reflects Council’s commitment to deliver better outcomes for all Rotorua people.
Council has been committed to providing clarity and certainty by developing and following a robust and prudent financial strategy with rates increases aligned to the work programme, she says.
Given the current financially tough outlook, in particular around rising inflation and staff retention challenges, the rates increase approved today will enable Council to maintain the momentum of work planned to be delivered across the district.
The $143 million capital investment included in the 2022/23 delivery plan is for core infrastructure to ensure reliability, efficiency and safety of assets, as well as to finish key place-making projects already underway like the Sir Howard Morrison Centre and the Whakarewarewa Forest and Lakefront developments.
Mayor Chadwick says as well as being key assets for the community, these are also key tourism assets.
From the Council meeting
Speaking to the Council today, Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Enablement Thomas Collé said the district’s challenges and the council’s priorities had not changed and the 2022/23 plan reflected the direction set in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan.
The average 5.7% general rates increase did not reflect the level of inflationary increases across the council organisation’s cost base so the organisation would essentially be doing more with less and would have to mitigate ongoing risks relating to inflation.
Mr Collé said he had every confidence in the council organisation’s ability to work through and address issues that arose, as all other organisations were having to do in the current challenging times and with unknowns ahead. That could include the likes of reviewing procurement and project timings as required and potentially deferring some items, he said.
Chief Executive Geoff Williams said the organisation would continue, as it always had, to closely monitor and manage costs and processes in response to outside pressures. The approach had always been to manage costs while maintaining services and there had been no direction from elected members for the organisation to cut or reduce services or costs for the 2022/23 year. The direction had been to maintain levels of service and manage the organisation in a way that balanced inflation pressures with the need to deliver essential services, he said.
The motion to adopt the 2022/23 delivery plan passed with Mayor Chadwick and councillors Dave Donaldson, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Mercia Yates, Trevor Maxwell and Fisher Wang voting in favour.
Councillors Sandra Kai Fong, Tania Tapsell, Raj Kumar and Reynold Macpherson voted against.
The motion to set the rates, as proposed, was also passed with Mayor Chadwick and councillors Donaldson, Raukawa-Tait, Yates, Maxwell and Wang voting in favour and councillors Kai Fong, Tapsell, Kumar and Macpherson against.
See the delivery plan for the 2022/23 financial year, Year 2 of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan, at THIS LINK on Council’s website.
Go to p24 of the Council meeting agenda (see HERE) to read the report relating to adoption of the 2022/23 delivery plan.
Got to p27 of the Council meeting agenda (see HERE) to read the report relating to rates for the 2022/23 financial year.
Today’s meeting was livestreamed and you can go straight to this part of the meeting recording, which is available on Council’s You Tube channel, via THIS LINK.
View the 2021-31 Long-term Plan HERE.