Napier rates increases floated

Napier ratepayers are potentially looking at rates increases of 23.7%, 10.5% and 8% over the next three-year period (2024-27). Council will put these increases out for public consultation starting 25 March, closing 26 April, with hearings set for May 27-28.

Here’s the challenge, partly due to past funding neglect of infrastructure, as described in a supporting document (Combined Financial and Infrastructure Strategy):

“While developing this strategy, we’ve had to be honest with ourselves about the state of the infrastructure networks we manage. A significant proportion of our asset portfolio is ageing, which is common after development “booms” in the 1950s and 1970s … We also haven’t invested the way we needed to into maintenance and proactive replacement. While that saved our ratepayers money in the short term, it means we’re starting to see assets failing (requiring costly emergency fixes), and/or instances where our community is not receiving the level of service we set out to provide.”

Would you like a list of previous mayors to send your ‘thank you’ notes to?

The consultation document lists as major external challenges creating rates pressure: 

  • Impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle
  • Increasing inflation mainly affecting labour and insurance costs
  • Long-term effects from Covid-19 and Napier’s 2020 floods
  • Climate change and the environment

If you want to get a head start on digging into NCC’s plans, here’s the near-final consultation document. The official version is due 25 March. You can expect in-depth BayBuzz analysis of the key issues and choices involved.

HDC opens consultation on Waimarama Beach road access

Hastings District Council is about to go out to the community with four options for rules on vehicle use on the beach. Concerns around the safety of beach users from vehicles on the beach were raised by residents and Police late last year.

The options include retaining the status quo, a time extension to the current ban to the full year, an extension of the ban area to Tiakitai Road for the full year, or an extension of the ban area to the northern part of the beach for the full year.

Currently there is a bylaw introduced in 2013 that allows vehicles on the beach, aside from a strip in front of the surf club between 8am and 8pm from Labour Weekend through to 30 April each year.

While the upcoming consultation is focused on rules for vehicles, Council staff will continue to work with Police on enforcement of the rules that already apply (the bylaw rules, that vehicles must be registered and warranted, and that a speed limit of 20kmh).

Waimarama Beach

New Hastings Youth Council appointed

Seventeen young people have been selected to represent Hastings’ younger residents on this year’s Hastings Youth Council, including Lindisfarne College student Chris Proctor as chair.

The Youth Council’s main roles are to:

  • give a youth perspective on issues
  • promote and encourage youth involvement in planning and developing Council services
  • make sure the views of young people are canvassed and passed on to the Council
  • give advice on planning and infrastructure, particularly relating to any direct impact on young people
  • give input relating to policy and strategic development.

The youth representatives are: Chris Proctor, Bowen Steffert, Osiris White-Munroe, Taylor Bevan, Isabella Bradley, Bella Bridson, Benjamin Davis, Apache Hānara-Ngaheu, Peter Hannah, Swarleen Kaur, Theo King, Savannah Ogborn, Phaizon Parkes, Milly Petrie, Keaton Pitcher, Ariel Sajan, and Sophie Webber.

HDCs Youth Council

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