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Porirua, facing significant growth, plans average rates increase of 4.98 per cent

Press Release – Porirua City Council
Porirua City Council last night adopted its Annual Plan while flagging some challenging and exciting times ahead for the city.

Transmission Gully is scheduled for completion in 2020 and will bring with it the first significant changes to our roading network in decades. It will affect the way the city operates as the existing state highway network becomes local roads that reconnect the east and west of our urban area. Alongside this change Porirua is facing significant residential growth – far outpacing our previous best estimates.

To help manage this, a Growth Strategy was finalised in March to capture these changes and allow us to sensibly develop a new District Plan to lay out new rules for the way our city develops.

Mayor Mike Tana says these challenges are stretching the Council’s financial and staffing resources and causing us to look hard at the way we operate.

“We have heard the message from our community clearly that you think our rates are already high and you don’t want to pay more from your household budgets to keep the city running. In response to this we have committed to two things for the year ahead.

“Firstly we have kept to the commitment we made in our Long-term Plan to contain our rates increases to an average of 4.98%. This has meant that we’ve had to thoroughly examine all our budgets as we accommodate the inevitable pressures around insurance, cost increases especially in construction and workforce challenges.

“Secondly we are meeting head on the diverse challenges facing us – growth, climate change, rising environmental standards (clean water in our houses, harbours and rivers), the Government investment in Eastern Porirua, improving our core infrastructure and meeting our responsibilities as an employer. We have improved the salaries of our lowest paid workers by adopting the Living Wage as the minimum wage for our staff.

“None of this is easy. We’re busier than we’ve ever been and we know you want the basics looked after. We continue to prioritise children and young people, our harbours, our economic future and the unique characteristics of our various communities. We have not reduced service levels and continue to plan for the future.

“This year brings an election and an opportunity for all of you to have a say on who leads the city. We encourage you to vote. There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to have a say about the direction of the city as we consult you on our District Plan, climate change and the effects it will have on our city as well as other issues affecting all of us.”

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