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Council adopts 2023 – 2024 Annual Plan

29 Jun 2023

Council adopts 2023 – 2024 Annual Plan 

Buller District Councillors have adopted the 2023 – 2024 Annual Plan at their ordinary council meeting on Wednesday 28 June 2023. 

Total rates increase in the 2023 – 2024 Annual Plan will be 6.8%. The overall increase will vary due to the impact of the recent rating valuation of property undertaken by Quotable Value Limited. 

The 6.8% increase in total rates is slightly higher than the 5.4% signaled in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan. This reflects significantly higher interest and inflation rates than predicted when preparing the Long Term Plan more than two years ago. The overall rates increase is consistent with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 6.7%, and with other councils around the country. 

The Annual Plan predicts Buller District Council’s net debt at $29.3m by 30 June 2024, an increase of $2.1m from the Draft Annual Plan. It also budgets for council’s day-to-day costs coming to $36.2m for the coming year. 

The forecast capital expenditure is $31.7m. Of this, externally funded projects account for $19.1m. Capital expenditure includes budgets to complete the flood recovery programme including roading network reinstatement, wharf repairs, water and wastewater repairs.  A programme of water, wastewater and roading infrastructure will commence in the Alma Road area.  The majority of the described capital works are funded by various central government grants. Council rates and debt funding will be used to fund the annual local roading renewal and enhancements to the water, wastewater and stormwater systems. 

Mayor Jamie Cleine says: “Council had to formulate a plan to manage costs that hadn’t been signalled in the Long Term Plan. These included flood recovery costs not funded by government grants, estimated at $1.75 million, and uncertainty about government water reforms amid rising costs for water and wastewater services. We are holding water rates at the same $ value per property from 1 July 2023 as were levied on 1 July 2022, but this will result in a $1.2 million shortfall needing to be funded from 1 July 2024. We have also committed $68,600 from general rates towards Waka Kotahi’s safe speed limits around schools initiative. 

“We are very conscious of the financial impact on ratepayers of any rise in rates cost and have tried to mitigate these wherever possible in a shifting economic landscape, where council is balancing its own rising costs. In addition, the cost of the floods will be with us a community for some time to come and planning for that is part of our new normal,” Mr Cleine says. 

The content of the draft Annual Plan was publicised during May using print, radio and social media advertisements. The plan was available on council’s website and hard copies were available at council and other facilities throughout the district. 

In total, council received 10 items of feedback on the 2023-2024 Draft Annual Plan. These were mostly received via Survey Monkey and a dedicated email address.  Councillors discussed a summary of the feedback at the public workshop on Wednesday the 7 June, and approved it at yesterday's meeting.  

The 2023-2024 Annual Plan will come into effect from 1 July 2023. 


For more information please contact: 
Mayor Jamie Cleine