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Council considers content of Three-Year Plan consultation

Published: 1 February 2024

Marine Parade City Ahuriri Jan 2019 9

Napier City Council will consider the topics and options to be put to the community as it develops its Three-Year Plan 2024-27 at its meeting on Thursday 8 February.

The Three-Year Plan consultation, due to open in late March, will share Council’s plans for cyclone recovery, major capital projects for the next three years, proposed rates rises and other issues of interest to the community.

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise explains that Napier is facing a challenging financial situation like most councils around the country.

“Napier has many competing issues that all need attention. We need to take on these challenges and put in place firm foundations so we can build a bright future.”

Challenges include increasing costs to maintain ageing infrastructure, managing the unexpected costs that have arisen from Cyclone Gabrielle, preparing for future climate-related emergencies, and significant cost increases across the board due to inflation.

“We need to stay focused on cyclone recovery while still providing the core Council services the community needs and expects of us,” says Mayor Wise.

The proposed rates increase percentage for 2024/25 is likely to be in the low twenties, with a decision on the exact proposed figure still to be made. Details on how future rates increases could be lowered will be shared during the Three-Year Plan consultation period.

“We’ve spent a lot of time looking at how we can keep the increase as low as possible, but we must make sure we have the finances to continue doing the basics well. We’re thinking about doing some things differently to improve our financial sustainability, so in future our residents could benefit from lower rates increases. Things like potentially running some of our tourist facilities as commercial businesses and putting together an income-earning investment portfolio to make the most of our financial resources.”

“Our community consultation on the plan gives us an excellent opportunity to hear from our community on this and other decisions,” says Mayor Wise.

Napier City Council, along with other cyclone-affected councils, is not required by central government to develop a 10-year Long Term Plan for 2024-34. This change is an acknowledgement of the effects Cyclone Gabrielle has had on Council resources and the ability to deliver previously planned projects. Instead, Council is preparing an unaudited Three-Year Plan. Key information on budgets and plans beyond 30 June 2027 will still be provided to give the community a picture of projects and activities over the longer term.

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