Wellington Scoop

Regional councillors want 5% rates increase, more resilience, better public transport

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Strengthening the Wellington region’s ability to cope with natural hazards, while providing a quality natural environment and an improved public transport system, were top of mind when councillors met yesterday to discuss the public consultation around the Annual Plan 2017/2018.

Regional Councillors approved the consultation document, with public consultation to begin on March 16.

GWRC has four priorities for 2017/2018:
· Investing in resilient regional infrastructure
· Making sure we can cope in emergencies
· Growing public transport patronage
· Keeping our environment clean

Chairman Chris Laidlaw says the Kaikoura earthquake in November brought improving the region’s resilience more sharply into focus and the council is responding to that.

“We were already working on improving the region’s ability to respond to natural hazards. We are bringing some off that work forward, such as improving flood protection for the most at-risk communities.”

The regional council is proposing a rates increase of 5.6 percent, down from 9.3 percent proposed in the 10 Year Plan 2015-25. The 5.6 percent increase equates to $28 for an average household, or 54 cents per week.

Councillor Laidlaw says much of the increase is made up of committed projects that the regional community has strongly supported. This includes the council’s continuing programme of investment in regional transport infrastructure.

“We want people to have their say. This is your region and your place and we want it to be one that serves you well.”

Consultation on the Annual Plan begins on March 16 and runs until April 12.

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