skip to main content

I want to...

Current filter:

Word from our Mayor Kirsten Wise

Published: 24 April 2024

Last Updated: 26 April 2024

Mayor Kirsten Wise 67

Over the course of our Three-Year Plan community consultation, we’ve heard a lot of feedback from residents on social media about various topics and issues affecting us all.

Without doubt, the number one issue concerning the community is the perception that Council is spending money unnecessarily, resulting in the large, proposed rates increase. I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions about this.

There have been many comments that if the new library and proposed staff office accommodation project were to be cancelled, this would significantly reduce our rates.

The library project is a ten-year project. It began in 2017 with a strong mandate from the community, made known to us through various consultations. Seven years into this project, we are now almost on the cusp of beginning construction. The $58 million allocated to this project will be funded by generations of ratepayers through long-term loans, not just you and me. To cancel this project now would not significantly reduce the proposed rates rise and it would not resolve our current financial constraints. Furthermore, it would mean seven years of money already spent would be wasted. It would go against the clear direction given to us by the community, that Napier needs a fit-for-purpose library. Future councils would inevitably have to start again.

The proposed office accommodation project will save ratepayers money in the long term. Again, this is an inter-generational project, funded through long-term loans. Once re-strengthened and reoccupied, ratepayers will no longer have to foot the bill paying market rental on three office buildings in town. We would continue to own a strategic property asset. In the long term it makes financial sense, and to cancel the project now would not significantly impact rates. It equates to an average of 79 cents per week per rating unit, over the three years of our plan.

The third misconception is that the rates increase is because we’re significantly increasing staff wages and salaries. 11.57% of the 23.7% increase is because of labour costs. The main driver of this is not salary increases. Part of this is due to Ocean Spa now becoming a Council facility. This increase in staff on our payroll has increased our salary and wage costs.

Additionally, we’re making some changes to our remuneration policy. Historically, Napier City Council has paid lower salaries and wages compared to similar sized councils. We have paid the price for this in losing good people to other organisations. It’s important that we recognise qualifications and experience with pay packets that are fair and reasonable. We report on our salary and wage bands in our annual reports.

Aside from labour costs, the rates increase is being driven by inflation, increased insurance premiums and borrowing costs.

Please make yourself heard through our formal submissions process. This is the only avenue of feedback that councillors are legally able to consider when making decisions on the Three-Year Plan. Go to by Friday 26 April.

Back to Proudly Napier


Napier City Council - Copyright © 2024 Napier City Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Napier City Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Napier City Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Napier City Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Napier City Council - / +64 6 835 7579 /