Consultation begins on 10-year plan

The Hurunui District Council has adopted the Draft Hurunui Community Long Term Plan for 2012-22; and this is now available for consultation.

Although the Hurunui district suffered comparably less direct earthquake damage than Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn, the impact has still been huge and is a major influence throughout the plan. Dramatic increases in insurance costs, the new legislative requirement to meet New Zealand drinking water standards, and funding sewer and stormwater improvements, mean that for the 2012/13 year, a 7.15% general rate increase is a reality. This increase is the highest for any year in the 10 year plan. The average total rate increase signalled (including all amenity and targeted rates) for 2012/13 is 6.94%.

Full details of the projected rate movements, year by year, are shown in the Funding Impact Statement in the plan. It is important to note that amenity and targeted rate increases vary considerably across the district, according to the projects proposed in each ward, therefore the 6.94% average total rate increase may in no way reflect your own property’s proposed rate increase which may in fact be considerably higher or considerably lower than this amount. The sample property analysis in the plan gives a picture of the impact of rates for the 2012/2013 year for the various rating areas. You can find out what the proposed rates are for your property for the entire 10 year period by contacting us directly on 314-8816 or by going onto our website.

The Hurunui District Council has decided to review their method of rating for tourism and general district promotion. This is an example of where your view and suggestions will help to shape up a new model for funding this type of activity. The Council have not yet developed an alternative but will do so in 2012/13 after considering the feedback they receive.

There are a number of committees and boards in the Hurunui district, with various delegations to oversee and govern areas of responsibility. Most of the members of these commit to their functions on a voluntary basis, and whether paid or unpaid, the efforts of all of these dedicated people are very much appreciated. The Hanmer Springs Community Board is the Hurunui’s only board (or committee) elected through the local government triennial election process. The five elected members of the board are paid, and half of this is funded through a district wide rate. The Council think this payment should be 100% funded by the Hanmer Springs Ward ratepayers instead and are interested in what you think on this.

In light of the lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquakes, one of the things the Hurunui District Council are proposing to do to contribute to public safety is getting onto the tasks of assessing commercial and public buildings in the district sooner rather than later. This is a prime example of safety adding significant cost.

“We live in challenging times and every dollar is precious,” commented Mayor Winton Dalley. “The Hurunui District Council recognises rates are a big cost for residents and our council has taken a conservative approach to our long term planning.

“Now is the time for the public to have its say on whether we have got it right with regards to the proposed levels of service and priorities for the coming years.”

 Copies of the draft Hurunui Community Long Term Plan are available from Council service centres, libraries and here

Submissions close on 13 April, 2012. The Council will hold special hearings for those who would like to speak to their submissions from 14 May, 2012.