Published: 27 April 2023
Last Updated: 1 May 2023
Napier City Council’s 2023/24 Annual Plan takes into account the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle and includes a $1.5 million cyclone recovery budget, funded through a new Disaster Recovery Rate (DRR) of 2%.
Councillors today voted to approve the development of the plan.
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise says the effects of the cyclone have presented new challenges for Napier, which has resulted in the new rate.
“The challenges facing our community in the wake of the cyclone are unprecedented and not something we could have ever anticipated,” says Mayor Wise.
Councils are able to introduce a new rate without consultation if it is needed to meet an unforeseen and urgent need, and can’t be reasonably met any other way.
“We have worked really hard to keep our planned rates increase this year to the agreed cap of 9.7 per cent as outlined in our Long Term Plan. We have achieved this through cost cutting and loan funding.”
“The Disaster Recovery Rate of an additional 2 per cent was a step we had to take. It will ensure our community is well looked after in terms of providing recovery support and services,” says Mayor Wise.
“We’re aiming to strike the right balance between adequately funding Napier’s needs and applying a rates increase that is manageable.”
Other changes agreed to by Council today included deferring the planned 2% rates increase to fund Council’s housing activity deficit. The housing portfolio will continue to be funded by loans for 2023/24.
“We are currently developing a city wide housing strategy and this will give us more time to explore how our council housing fits within this strategy. It also helps with our aim of providing a more manageable rates increase given the current economic climate,” says Mayor Wise.”
Council also agreed today to re-phase its capital plan for 2023/24. This has involved moving some planned projects and their budgets to later years in the Long Term Plan 2021-31. The result is a 2023/24 capital plan of $75.8 million, down from $90 million.
“It’s important to note that these projects and their budgets haven’t been cut,” says Mayor Wise.
“We have simply moved them into the following year’s budget, which is the first year of our next Long Term Plan. We’ll have the chance to reconsider all projects and budgets then.”
The planned Rangatira Revetment Targeted Rate will also be introduced in 2023/24. This is a fixed amount applied only to rating units on the north side of Whakarire Avenue. The rate recovers the private funding component of the revetment construction cost over the next 25 years.
Public consultation on this year’s Annual Plan is not a requirement due to there being no significant changes for 2023/24 as outlined in Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-31.
“Although we aren’t required to consult on this year’s plan, there are some key topics that we want people to know about,” says Mayor Wise.
Residents can find out more by visiting www.napier.govt.nz and using the keyword search #annualplan. They can also submit questions to a Facebook Live session taking place in May. Details on this will be advertised soon.
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