74 days ago

Waimak may have lowest rates rise in Canterbury

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from Northern Outlook

By reporter Keiller MacDuff:

Waimakariri District Council has proposed the lowest rates rise in Canterbury, but it will mean deferring $120 million of projects.

The council reviewed all its current projects to find the savings in its draft 10-year plan, which is out for consultation from Friday to April 15. This plan sees an originally-proposed 19% rates rise more than halved to 8.94%.

Projects slated to be pushed back, or scaled back, include:

- The aquatics strategy, which would have included a hydrotherapy pool for Kaiapoi and a hydroslide at Rangiora at a cost of $15m.
- Environmental projects, such as better physical access, more toilets and walking tracks in parks and reserves, and rangers to work with community groups and tackle weeds and pest control.
- Decisions on sports facilities such as the Southbrook Sports Club upgrade and development of the cricket oval.
- A permanent infrastructure resilience team and flood recovery fund.
Upgrades of the Trevor Inch Memorial Rangiora Library and Civic building.

The council is asking if the community is prepared to pay for two major roading projects, which could result in an average rate increase of $56.62 per household per year if the government does not provide an anticipated $15.5m.

The draft LTP warns of a high level of uncertainty around NZTA’s funding for the Rangiora Eastern Link, which is intended to reduce congestion through Southbrook, provide an alternate link to State Highway 1 and allow for housing and business growth to the east of Rangiora; and to replace the narrow Skew Bridge in West Kaiapoi.

Mayor Dan Gordon said it had been a challenging budget, but the council’s proposal was “prudent and responsible”.

He said cost pressures were inevitable given rising inflation and the impact of increased insurance, labour and construction costs.

Even with the deferrals of “non essential projects”, the council proposes spending $693m over the next decade, between replacing assets, increasing services and accommodating anticipated growth, Gordon said.

The district’s population of about 71,000 is projected to reach 100,000 by 2050.

The Christchurch City Council’s draft long-term plan (LTP) proposes an average rates increase of 13.24% from July, Hurunui District Council has proposed a rates rise of 12.37%, Selwyn residents face a proposed average 16% rates rise, while regional council Environment Canterbury has floated an average rates rise of 24%.

More messages from your neighbours
12 days ago
19 hours ago

Do you know the answer?

Riddles from The Neighbourly Riddler

What needs an answer but doesn’t ask a question?

Do you think you know the answer to our daily riddle? Don't spoil it for your neighbours! Simply 'Like' this post and we'll post the answer in the comments below at 2pm.

Want to stop seeing riddles in your newsfeed? No worries! Simply head here and click once on the Following button.

1 day ago

Could the jury service process be improved?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

Every year, thousands of New Zealanders are called up to serve as jurors in the High and District Courts, and it's an important way to contribute to your country.

But for some, jury service can be a huge disruption and a financial burden. Do you think changes could be made to our jury service system to address these challenges?