Wellington Scoop
Network

Rates increases and future-proofing – Regional Council adopts its 10-year plan

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
The Greater Wellington Regional Council today adopted its 10-Year Plan and proposed Revenue and Financing Policy to go out for public consultation on Monday 26 March.

Chair Cllr Chris Laidlaw says four priority areas have been identified – with a strong focus on public transport, resilience, water supply and environmental protection.

“This 10-Year Plan recognises a sharp upturn in the importance of future-proofing the region’s capacity to protect the interests of its people and its natural capital. Delivering a better public transport system, reinforcing the region’s water infrastructure, strengthening our capacity to respond to more volatile weather events and taking more decisive action to improve water quality and other precious environmental assets are all actions that cannot be avoided.

“As a result, there are some particular proposals on which we need to seek public feedback. These are areas where we’re proposing significant investment or changes to the way we fund the services we deliver.”

The proposals planned for the next 10 years would require an annual increase over the next financial year of $31.43 or $2.62 per month for Greater Wellington ratepayers.

Key drivers of this increase include ongoing investment in Greater Wellington’s public transport transformation programme, flood protection programmes and freshwater and biodiversity programmes, increased costs for insurance and rent and the range of fare discounts for public transport users planned for introduction this year for students, children, blind and disabled people and off-peak travel.
The three priority areas on which public feedback will be sought are:

• a long-term solution for the Wairarapa rail line and Capital Connection
• improving the capability of the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office
• continuing to lead the investigation of water management options in Wairarapa.

“Finding a long-term solution for the Wairarapa rail line and Capital Connection may require a significant investment in future years, that’s why it’s important to hear as many views as possible,” says Cllr Laidlaw.

Included alongside public consultation on Greater Wellington’s 10-Year Plan will be proposed changes to its Revenue and Financing Review Policy. The council is proposing to change the way it uses rates to fund public transport and flood protection – two of the largest areas of work for Greater Wellington.

“There is a compelling case for changes that make funding these services more equitable across the region – so those ratepayers who get the most benefit pay the largest share of the costs. We are however keen to listen to the views of the affected parties on this. A key priority is keeping rates fair while delivering the best possible levels of service,” added Cllr Laidlaw.

Public consultation will begin on Monday 26 March, running for six weeks to Sunday 29 April. The consultation document will be atwww.whatmatters.co.nz from Monday 26 March, and the option of making online submissions will be available. People will also be able to obtain a printed version at any Greater Wellington office and at any public library throughout the region from Monday 26 March.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url