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Draft Enhanced Annual Plan submissions to be considered next week

30 May 2024

Buller District Council will come together next week to consider 623 submissions on the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25.

So far, an additional 17 submissions have been received since 20 May during the extended submission period for the proposed changes to wastewater and water rates, which runs until 4 June.

80 people have chosen to speak to their submissions during the three days of hearings scheduled for next week.

Mayor Jamie Cleine says: “623 submissions is the largest turnout we have seen for a consultation in recent years. The submission numbers were significantly increased by a local group that collected and dropped off 396 submissions.”

Our focus for the coming week will be to listen to all speakers and review the submissions so we can understand people’s concerns, suggestions and feedback.”

The two key issues for the consultation were how council would respond if Waka Kotahi—New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) does not continue to provide the current level of funding and how council will rate for drinking and wastewater in the future.

174 submitters answered the consultation question regarding funding for roading. 55% of the submitters indicated they would favour reducing the programme to match the NZTA-approved level of funding. 9% preferred that council continue with the programme already submitted, and for rates to fund any difference required for local roads, committing to higher rates for the next two rating years. The option to keep council’s level of funding as contained in the draft plan but reduce the overall programme to reflect Waka Kotahi’s level of investment was chosen by 36% of submitters.

188 submitters indicated their preference regarding the proposed changes to how council rates for drinking water. 70% opted to keep the policy on how water and wastewater targeted rates are charged the same. 30% preferred council adopting a revised policy on how water and wastewater targeted rates are charged.

Mayor Jamie Cleine highlights “It has been an enormous task to collate the submissions, analyse the data, summarise the feedback and organise the hearings.”

Councillors are aware that affordability is one of the key themes of the comments made from the community.

The Draft Enhanced Annual Plan's total general and targeted rate increase is 19.7%. This is an average, and the consultation document included information about how individual rates for certain properties would change. This number also includes the proposed water and wastewater policy change.

Mayor Jamie Cleine says, “We understand that many people feel the pressure of increased costs when paying for basic living expenses. This is expressed in many submissions. However, we have to make a decision that considers the needs of the entire community, enables us to operate in a financially sustainable way, encompasses long-term planning and recognises future generations.”

Councils across the country are facing double digit rates increases, impacted by the escalating costs that are required to deliver what our communities need, as well as shouldering the additional duties necessary to ensure compliance with central government requirements.

After the hearings, council will discuss the draft plan during the deliberations and make any necessary changes to the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25.

The Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25 will be adopted at the 26 June council meeting and be effective 1 July 2024.


For further information, please contact:
Buller District Mayor
Jamie Cleine