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Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25

Council extended the submission period for water and wastewater rates changes as part of the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25 consultation.

What should I know about the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan?

As the name suggests, the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25 is a one-year plan and part of a longer-term planning process. We are required to update our ten-year plan (also known as our Long-Term Plan) every three years. This plan sets out our direction and budgets for the next ten years. Usually, in the two years between the long-term plans, we produce an annual plan.  

This year, we are producing an Enhanced Annual Plan that continues implementing year four of the Long-term Plan 2021-2031 after the Council voted unanimously to defer the adoption of the 2024-2034 LTP. 

What are we consulting on?

The submission period for the proposed changes to wastewater and water rates has been extended to 3 pm June 4, 2024. This extension allows affected ratepayers additional time to consider their submissions.

The extension applies exclusively to submissions on water and wastewater rates. All other submissions for the Enhanced Annual Plan were accepted until 4.30pm May 20, 2024.

Council acknowledges that letters sent to ratepayers impacted by this change were delayed, limiting their time to respond to the proposal. Accordingly, Council has extended the submission period.

Information to help you make a submission on the proposed rating change are provided below.

Council is seeking feedback on the policy for how to rate for drinking water and wastewater. Council is considering changing the way "multi residential" and "multi commercial" "differentials" for water and wastewater targeted rates, as well as "major users" rates are charged, and aligning the policy more closely with the methods for charging targeted rates as set out in the Local Government (Rating) Act 2022. Council has two options moving forward how to rate for drinking and wastewater.  

What are the options? 

  • Adopt a revised policy on how water and wastewater targeted rates are charged.   
  • Keep the policy the same on how water and wastewater targeted rates are charged. 

We encourage you to read the Consultation Document for more information on this key issue and the options.

Key dates


What happens?

Friday 12 April 

Submissions open.

Monday 20 May 

Submissions on all Draft Enhanced Annual Plan matters have closed except for the proposed changes to water and wastewater rates.

Tuesday 4 June

Submissions on the proposed changes to water and wastewater rates close at 3pm.

Wednesday 5 June - Friday 7 June

Submission hearings. If you indicated on your submission form that you wish to make a verbal submission, you will be contacted with a time to speak closer to the date. This is an opportunity to provide additional information to Councillors.

Tuesday 11 June - Thursday 13 June

Deliberations. Councillors will consider all submissions and make any necessary changes to the draft EAP.

Wednesday 26 June 

Council to adopt the Enhanced Annual Plan.

Saturday 1 July

Enhanced Annual Plan comes into effect.

Frequently asked questions

Please read our FAQs for the key information you need to know about the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25.

Instead of an LTP, Council produced an Enhanced Annual Plan for 2024/25 that continues implementing year four of the Long-term Plan 2021-2031.

The Minister for Local Government (Hon Simeon Brown) highlighted on Tuesday, February 13 2024, the coalition government's plan for the next 12-18 months to implement Local Water Done Well into legislation and to repeal the Water Services Legislation. As part of that announcement, Central Government have given three different options as to when the Council will be required to adopt the Long-Term Plan:  

  • Option 1 – Adopt LTP by June 30 2024
  • Option 2 – 3-month deferral, adopt final by 30 September 2024 
  • Option 3 – Defer the LTP, which was due to be adopted on the June 30 2024 and undertake a reduced 9-year long-term plan from June 2025 - June 2034. With this option it would require an Enhanced Annual Plan for this financial year which needs to be adopted by June 2024

Council decided to go with option 3.

Council will develop a 9-year plan for the period 2025 - 2034 and consult with the community on this LTP in 2025.

Buller District Council are aware of the challenges around affordability and the cost-of-living pressures for all our community.

The total general and targeted rates budgeted increase is 14.9% higher than for the same year in the Long Term Plan, with an overall predicted Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25 increase of 19.7%.

We understand that this is a significant increase, but unfortunately, there are significant factors that contribute to this and a lot of which is outside of our control.

The summery below shows the major components of the total rates movement: 

  • Decision to hold water rates in 2023-2024 – 5.2%  
  • Weighted inflation increase, over and above what is forecast by BERL (Business and Economic Research limited – 5.6%  
  • NZTA work programme identified to preserve Council’s roading network – 3%  
  • Increasing depreciation and loan servicing costs for the increased capital programme – 2.5%  
  • New Staff roles required to meet Council’s compliance requirement – 1.5%  
  • Increase in 3 Waters repairs and maintenance – 1.2%  

The Consultation Document includes the table below with examples of rate changes for different areas in Buller. 

These are a sample of some properties to demonstrate how the draft 2024-2025 Enhance Annual Plan changes will affect rates in these areas. 2023/2204 rates are what is currently being paid, with the rates for 2024/2025 showing what rates are proposed to be and the change in dollar and percentage terms for each property.


Land Value 

Rates including GST 






Res 101 Karamea 






Res 103 Little Wanganui 






Res 103 Mokihinui 






Res 103 Seddonville 






Res 104 Hector 






Res 104 Waimangaroa 






Res 106 Brougham Street 






Res 106 Russell Street 






Res 108 Carters Beach 






Res 113 Charleston 






Res 114 Punakaiki 






Res 101 Ikamatua 






Res 115 Reefton 






Res 101 Springs Junction 






Com 131 Karamea 






Com 134 Westport 






Com 140 Reefton 






Rur 141 Karamea 






Our 143 Cape Foulwind 






Rur 141 Mai Mai 






RR 151 Karamea 






RR 152 Granity 






RR 151 Westport 






RR 152 Westport 







Council has identified two key issues we must address over the coming 12 months. One of them is how Council rates for drinking water and wastewater.

We want your feedback on what option is the best way forward for
our community as part of the Draft Enhanced Annual Plan 2024/25
consultation. Read our FAQs to find out more.

Central Government funded projects

Several projects are underway to reduce the impact of flooding on Westport and plan. A Steering Group which includes members of both the Buller District and West Coast Regional Councils, Ngāti Waewae and Central Government has been established to provide governance, oversight, and assurance of the deployment of $22.9m of Government funding towards building a Resilient Westport.  

The work programmes include several projects across the PARA framework (Protect, Avoid, Retreat/Relocate and Accommodate) to deliver a Resilient Westport for the future. The work programmes need to carefully balance moving things along at pace with the need for good process and transparency. The community’s voice is central to the programmes of work and there will be opportunities for engagement and feedback.   

Actions that are part of increasing the districts and Westport’s resilience for future generations include:  

Flood protection assessments (protect)  

  • Organs Island reafforestation – Land transfer process underway and planning for planting.  
  • Floating Lagoon and Averys – geotechnical groundwater monitoring is underway. A plan for a stop bank on the Avery’s stretch of the Orowaiti River is estimated to provide protection from a one-in-100-year flood for the next 30 years of climate change. 
  • Abattoir Drain at Railway Bridge & McKenna Road - geotechnical groundwater monitoring underway. Assessment of environmental effects are underway. All going well, these are aimed to be completed these by the end of June 2024.  

Flood protection structures (protect)  

  • Peer reviews of the Multi Tool Business Case that was submitted to government in June 2022 have now been completed. Next stage is preliminary design phase. 
  • While these initiatives will help deliver flood protection, they are not a guarantee of prevention of damage from future flooding. These measures are buying time to enable Westport to plan a more resilient future.

Civil defence emergency management (accommodate)  

  • Recruit for capability; delivery; sustainability – underway   

Water and sea level gauge (accommodate)  

  • Funding has been approved for sea level monitoring and tide gauging to improve flood warning information.  
  • WCRC are completing assessments of the tidal and land monitoring requirements, auditing best practical options so the steering group can be assured of design before progressing to purchase of equipment. 

Westport master planning (retreat/relocate)   

  • Stage one of the master planning process has begun. BDC has engaged Isthmus Urban Design team (based in Christchurch) to develop a set of vision plans with which to engage with the community in early 2024. 
  • Isthmus has worked on projects around New Zealand and internationally.  
  • The Master Planning project will ensure we're planning for a future focused on social, environmental, affordability, prosperity, and culture.  
  • We're working in a partnership of community, iwi, business, local government, and national government. 

Westport Water Resilience 

Westport Water Supply remains in need of critical investment to mitigate risk of “no water” scenarios. During the February 2022 severe weather event, significant damage was sustained to both infrastructure and the Giles Creek south branch catchment. Whilst the infrastructure was quickly repaired via government funding, the event showed the vulnerability of this essential lifeline. 

As a result, Council worked closed with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to identify the most important infrastructure needed to improve resilience for the Westport Water Supply, culminating in a business case highlighting the prioritised Resilience Options. This was endorsed by Council and submitted through the previous governments National Transition Unit as part of the Three Waters Reform programme. As we await further direction from the new governments Local Water Done Well plan, critical investment in Westport Water Supply must continue to ensure the safe, reliable and adequate drinking water supply for our district’s largest population.  

Currently there is no back up water supply for Westport. The alternative pump station constructed downstream of the primary intake in 2005 has been rendered unusable due to the poor water quality. In the event of regular or prolonged rainfall events, raw water cannot be treated with the existing water treatment plant due to excessive turbidity levels. Even a series of smaller rainfall events occurring in close succession may stop or restrict refilling of the reservoir ponds, resulting in storage reducing to empty. Another severe weather event could damage critical infrastructure causing an instant supply loss. In either scenario, Westport could face “no water” crisis. 

The prioritised Resilience Options investigation and report recommended several short, medium, and long-term responses to secure the Westport Water Supply and improve reliability and availability. The most critical of the short to medium term investments is to complete replacement of the Trunk Main from the current location near McKenna Rd into Queen St finish point and associated network capacity improvements. The estimated cost of this key project is $3.15 million.  

Solid Waste 

A public consultation on proposed changes to the waste management system was held between August and September 2023. The consultation was focused on switching from ‘pay as you throw’ rubbish bags, in waste and recycling zone 1, to wheelie bins for rubbish collected fortnightly, funded via a targeted rate.  

The key findings from that consultation revealed some support for wheelie bins, but there were concerns from residents over making costs mandatory and the impact it would have on minimal waste producers.  

The elected members met in an early November 2023 to discuss waste management going forward and as part of a workshop for the Enhanced Annual Plan decided to go back to the community to consult on three options how waste could be managed in Buller in the future. This consultation is now running parallel to the 2024-2025 Enhanced Annual Plan consultation as a Special consultative procedure (SCP) pursuant to the Local Government Act 2002 section 83. 

If you want to have your say on the proposed options for waste management, please see Council’s website or view the Statement of Proposal available at Council’s offices and libraries in Westport and Reefton, i-Sites, and resource centres across the district. 

Creation of a Regional Water CCO 

With the repeal of the Affordable Waters Legislation, Minister, Hon Simeon Brown has spelt out a three-step process to implement Local Water Done Well (LWDW) over the next 12-18 months. Stage one of that process has already occurred with the repeal of the Water Services Legislation in February 2024.  

The Minister has established a technical advisory group to develop exact details of the next steps of LWDW. The indications from Central Government are that in June 2024 legislation will be introduced and enacted that set a framework to enable councils to self-determine future service delivery arrangements. It is also expected that councils will be required to produce a funded plan within 12 months as to how water will be delivered.  

This legislation will include streamlining of requirements to establish Council Controlled Organisations to enable more financially sustainable service delivery. 

The final piece of legislation in LWDW is planned for enactment mid-2025 which is expected to introduce greater central government oversight, economic and quality regulation and developing a new class of financially separate council-owned organisations. 

Council has identified and shared with the community the current and potential future cost to ratepayers of water and wastewater services which are unaffordable to the community. It seems unlikely a “go it alone” water services model would be affordable for our communities in future and meet the LWDW requirement to show financial sustainability, where financial sustainability means revenue sufficiency, balance sheet separation, ring-fencing, and funding for growth. 

However, it has been made clear in recent correspondence from the minister the expectation that councils should be voluntarily seeking collaborative solutions to long term water services delivery with neighbouring councils if that aids a financially sustainable model. Council unanimously voted on the 27th March 2024 to allow the Mayor to write to every Council in the South Island of NZ to understand if they would be keen on starting discussions around the creation of a CCO. 

The commercial analysis and development of a regional CCO is likely to be a major project requiring significant resources and take considerable time to prepare.  

We are forecasting a total capital expenditure of $19.4 million in 2024 – 2025, a significant increase over the past two years. 

These include: 


Draft Annual Plan 2024 -2025 

Funding Source 


Local Roads: 



75% Waka Kotahi subsidies   

25% general rates  

Karamea Highway: 

  • Renewals 


100% Waka Kotahi subsidies   

Drinking Water  

Westport Water 

  • Trunkmain Renewal 


external loan $0.25m depreciation funding $0.75m; funded from targeted rates  

  • Renewals 


  • Backflow prevention rollout 


  • Raw water bypass and bulk flow meters 


  • Water resilience upgrade and assessments and strategies 


Reefton Water 



  • Renewals 


internal loan $0.3m depreciation funding $0.1m; funded from targeted rates  


  • Backflow prevention rollout 


Little Wanganui Water easement for private property intake and drinking water standards compliance improvements 


internal loans funded from targeted rates  

Mokihinui Water repairs to leaking pipes and access track, an easement for private property intake and drinking water standards compliance improvements 


internal loans funded from targeted rates  

Waimangaroa Water security fencing and drinking water standards compliance improvements 


internal loans funded from targeted rates  

Punakaiki Water complete chlorination and finalisation of private land access 


internal loans funded from targeted rates  

Inangahua Junction Water main renewals and generator 


internal loans funded from targeted rates  


Westport Sewer renewals and upgrades 



internal loan $0.8m depreciation funding $0.5m; funded from targeted rates  

Reefton Sewer renewals and upgrades 




internal loan $0.4m depreciation funding $0.1m; funded from targeted rates  


Stormwater Upgrades and Replacements 




external loan $0.3m depreciation funding $0.3m; funded from general rates  

Solid Waste 

Contracted Refuse (litter bins and transfer stations) 




Depreciation funding funded from general rates  

Community Facilities 

Civil Defence EOC upgrade investigations 




depreciation funding funded by general rates  

Sue Thomson Casey Memorial Library exterior repaint 


depreciation funding funded from general rates  

Commercial Infrastructure 

Kawatiri Dredge DOP pump installation and engine upgrades 



Total externally funded  




includes Waka Kotahi subsidies 

Total Council funded 



Total Significant Capital 



The table above details $18.1m of the total planned capital expenditure of $19.4 m. The remaining budgeted capital expenditure of $1.3m is across Council's business as usual functions for items that are individually planned to be less than $100,000 for the year.

When preparing this enhanced annual plan, the Council has submitted a three-year programme of works for 2024-2027 to Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency for inclusion in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).  

The bid's focus is on asset preservation and maintaining current service levels. Due to price escalation in roading contractors and materials, along with the work identified as required in the next three years, the cost to undertake this in 2024-2025 will increase by $7.5m from the 2023-2024 Annual Plan budgets.    

Just over half of this increase relates to work undertaken on the Karamea Highway, a Special Purpose Road that Waka Kotahi NZTA has confirmed will continue to fund at 100% until June 30 2027. Therefore, it has no impact on rates.  

The remainder is to be spent on local roads, and Waka Kotahi NZTA has increased its share of funding from 72% to 75% from 2024-2027. The impact of the roading programme is an additional $0.56m of general rates required in 2024-2025 to fund the Council's share, which represents a 5% increase in general rates, and a 3% increase in total rates revenue.  

Waka Kotahi will not release indicative approved budgets for the NLTP until late May 2024, and the final budgets are not expected until August 2024. This is partly due to the lack of a new Government Policy on Land Transport. 

Advantages of the submitted bid: ​ 

  • Roading was the communities’ number one priority in the pre-engagement. ​  
  • Current levels of service delivery will be maintained.   ​  
  • Reduces the main risks of assets being affected by an under-investment, which could lead to further issues.   ​  
  • Helps to preserve assets, sustain, and improve resilience. ​  
  • Helps to keep pace with inflation.

Every three years Council produces a Long Term Plan (LTP) setting out the budget and priorities for projects, activities and services that we will invest in and develop over a ten-year period.

The Long Term Plan is a comprehensive statement of the Council's intentions. It sets out our 10-year direction and work programme. The LTP incorporates the Annual Plan for that year. In the intervening two years, an Annual Plan is produced on its own.

The Annual Plan sets out the Council’s operational and financial plans for the financial year. It must also identify variations from any budgets that have been allocated in the Long Term Plan.

The Long-Term Plan and Annual Plans are key documents covering: 

  • Key infrastructure: roads, footpaths, water, sewerage, stormwater, solid waste and drainage. 
  • Regulatory responsibilities: Resource Management Act, animal control, policies, monitoring and consents, building consents, food and liquor. 
  • Community services and support: community grants, libraries, theatres, cinemas and swimming pools. Emergency management. 
  • Community facilities: parks, reserves, housing for seniors and Council-owned properties. 

At the end of each financial year, Council produces an Annual Report which details what Council did during the financial year compared to what it planned to do in the LTP or Annual Plan. The Annual Report also outlines our achievements and accountability for decisions we make on behalf of the community.

It includes details of any significant variances in operational and capital expenditure. The Annual Report provides information about Council’s financial performance and position, service performance levels and progress on major projects.

This year, Council created an Enhanced Annual Plan for the 2024/25 financial year instead of an LTP.