Our region’s five Councils* have now released their Long Term Plans (LTPs) for the coming decade, and along with the plans is an opportunity for ratepayers to have their say.
CHB Council’s LTP consultation was held from 1st to 31st March so submissions are now closed, but the other councils are calling for feedback and submissions as follows:
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) View the plan, deadline 2 May
Hastings District Council (HDC) View the plan, deadline 7 May
Napier City Council (NCC) View the plan, deadline 12 May
Wairoa District Council (WDC)* View the plan, deadline 31 May
HBRC is stepping up its environmental work and investing an extra $10.5 million on the services it delivers to the Hawke’s Bay region and $14.7 million on infrastructure and capital projects.
However, having deferred any rate increase last year, it’s going to come at a huge cost for ratepayers, with a 19.5% increase in rates expected for the 2021-2022 year. Ratepayers can see how the proposed rate increase will affect their property by looking at the HBRC online rates calculator.
The Regional Council’s ‘must do’ programme of work will see a $9.7 million increase in operational investment. 23 new staff will be needed for work to improve the Hawke’s Bay’s environment.
Ratepayers are being asked for their feedback on six proposals:
- ‘Right Tree Right Place’ at a cost of $4.8 million over three years.
- $1million to explore water conservation and water use efficiency options.
- Upper Tukituki gravel removal, $2.5million.
- Clive River dredging costing $2.8 million over 9 years.
- On-demand public transport – pilot a virtual bus-stop, technology-enabled service over two years starting with Hastings, followed by Napier. The Hastings pilot will cost $610,000, and Napier $1million.
- Create Ahuriri Regional Park – HBRC will loan-fund $1.2 million in 2023-24 and $9 million over the course of years 4-10.
Maintaining essential assets, managing growth, addressing housing needs and continued investment in the community are the key themes in HDC’s LTP. Rates are expected to rise by 6.8% in Year 1, 6.6% in Year 2, 5.5% in Year 3, followed by an average 3.7% increase in Years 4-10. For rural areas the projected increase is 7% for the next six years.
Council is asking for feedback on three areas:
- Investment in rural roads – some roads were last sealed in the late 1950s and with an expected life of 75 years, now need to be renewed.
- Car parking in the centres of Hastings and Havelock North, including raising parking charges and purchasing of land to provide extra parking.
- The level and pace of investment in the revitalisation of Hastings inner city, events, and reserve and playground upgrades.
Napier Council’s focus – generically named “working on what matters” – is to “deliver the essentials”, including bringing the water supply system up to standard.
Approximately half of NCC’s capital projects spend over the next 10 years will be on water services. Rates are expected to rise by an average of 8% for the coming year, with further rises each year after, with most of the increase put towards waste services, “general cost increases” and external costs including insurance and government charges.
Proposals in the LTP include:
- Development of Ahruriri Regional Park.
- Development of Te Pihinga community facility in Maraenui.
- Funding of Council’s housing service.
- Operation of the Faraday Centre.
- Traffic safety plans.
Community safety is also a priority in the LTP, coming after a spate of serious incidents that have played out in several Napier public spaces.
*Wairoa’s draft LTP is yet to be released at this writing.
Photo: Simon Cartwright