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Tough budget decisions ahead for Buller's next 10-year plan

01 Dec 2023

Councillors and key staff will come together next week at a public workshop to discuss the budget for Buller’s next 10-year plan.

The workshop will be live streamed and is open to the public, kicking off at 1pm on Wednesday 6 December 2023 in Westport.

Mayor Jamie Cleine says “We aim to be as open as possible in the creation of this plan to help people in Buller understand why the draft document looks like it does. We chose to make the workshop public at a time when we have sufficient information and a good understanding of the external factors that impact this Long-Term Plan (LTP) and the community’s feedback.”

The Office of the Auditor General New Zealand, which is setting the guidelines nationally for councils’ LTPs has signalled that this year's LTPs need to incorporate an intergenerational approach. Taumata Arowai, the new water regulator, has issued notices and deadlines to councils around New Zealand with expectations to bring certain water supplies up to standard. This has put pressure on council to upgrade the district’s water supplies or face fines and abatement notices.

Mr Cleine says: “Essentially the direction from the Office of the Auditor General means we can't just kick issues down to the curb, leaving them for the next generation to solve. For Buller in particular, that implies we have to address the historic under-investment in the infrastructure network across the district. Also, we need to incorporate climate change and the impacts of flooding on our infrastructure.“

The change in government has created uncertainty due to the new government's position on Three Waters, which has put a huge level of uncertainty on how council proceeds with budgeting for its water services.

Mr Cleine says: “The difficult part will now be to align the community's aspirations with what is affordable while considering the external factors and requirements.”

Everyone can tune in or come along to see Buller’s 10-year plan taking shape at the public part of the workshop. People can find dates, times and a link to council’s YouTube channel on council’s website.

After public part of the workshop, elected members and council staff will discuss commercial sensitive matters in the public excluded section.

Mr Cleine says: “It is important that the community is part of this journey to understand the challenges the district is facing and how we have put this LTP together. This forms the base for residents to make an informed decisions during the consultation period in early 2024.” 

You can stay up to date and see Buller’s next 10-year plan taking shape by signing up to our e-newsletter Buller’s next 10–year plan | Buller District Council ( Council will keep issuing news articles, publish updates in local publications, publish information on its Facebook and LinkedIn pages and keep its website up-to-date. 

Further information

Council will write the draft 10-year plan (or Long-Term Plan) and the Consultation Document (the more digestible short form) to be finalised by early next year.

In early 2024, council will bring both documents back to the community and ask if what’s been put together has the community’s aspirations at its heart. Council will also ask some questions about key issues and present some options showing how they could be dealt with.

During the consultation period submissions from the community are then taken to help finalise the plan to arrive at a final LTP, which will be adopted by council in June 2024.


For further information please contact:
Buller Mayor
Jamie Cleine