Long-term Plan deliberations conclude
18 May 2021
Consideration of feedback to Rotorua Lakes Council's proposed 2021-31 Long-term Plan concluded today, the second day of deliberations by the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee.
The committee's decisions will provide the direction that will determine and guide finalisation of the Long-term Plan (LTP), which will be adopted by Council on 28 June.
Deliberations are an opportunity to consider feedback received from the community about what is proposed and to make decisions for implementation as part of the LTP.
Recommendations from the Committee will go to the Full Council on 28 June 2021 for final considerations and adoption of the finalised plan.
Committee voting today:
Infrastructure strategy - unamimous support for recommendation that Council adopts the proposed 30-year infrastructure strategy, noting that approximately 55% of total capital spend proposed across the 10 years of the LTP supports delivery of this strategy;
Tarawera sewage reticulation scheme - in favour of recommendation to progress to design and delivery of the proposed scheme and establishment of a sub-committee to jointly develop criteria and alternative viable payment options for those unable to pay for their portion of the scheme in a lump sum payment. It was noted that Council's current financial strategy would allow for up to 25% of Tarawera ratepayers to pay via an alternative payment option - Council would need to fund this through debt. The committee also supported bringing the project forward from year 5/6 of the LTP to year 2 to 4, subject to continued community support, more accurate costings and clearly defined repayment criteria.
Westbrook sports precinct discussion - voted in favour of an amendment to the recommendations presented, moved by Rural Community Board chair Shirley Trumper, ie that the discussion on the future of the Springfield Golf Course be deferred until such time as a full assessment is conducted by Council on a future sports facility that is fit-for-purpose to meet the future needs of the Rotorua community, to go out for full consultation at the appropriate time. Councillors Sandra Kai-Fong, Peter Bentley, Raj Kumar, Mercia Yates and Trevor Maxwell voted against the amendment.
Rates increases - in favour of the recommended rates increases that are required to deliver the proposed work and projects, ie a 9.2% average rates increase in year one of the LTP (2021/22 financial year) and average annual increases of 3.75% in the following nine years. Councillors Bentley and Kumar voted against.
Other feedback - feedback and requests received in relation to matters outside of the key challenges that were the focus of public consultation on the proposed LTP were noted and referred to the relevant council business unit and/or other relevant organisations, such as Bay of Plenty Regional Council, for consideration, further work, consultation and/or decision-making and/or for incorporating where possible. These were grouped into topics, location or themes and included feedback on community hubs, connectivity of rural and lakes communities, and feedback from the Ngapuna and Mamaku communities, consenting processes, roading and footpaths, public spaces, 3 waters, support for the elderly, public transport, finance/rating, water safety, conservation and biodiversity, community grants and requests for funding.
Committee voting yesterday:
Aquatic Centre - in favour of preferred option that went out to consultation ie full Master Plan redevelopment, an investment of $28.3 million (Crs Peter Bentley and Raj Kumar voted against this option);
Community safety - in favour of preferred option ie creating a community safety plan and including an additional $500,000 per year for the implementation of identified actions (Crs Kumar, Bentley, Fisher Wang and Rural Community Board chair Shirley Trumper voted against this option);
Fees and charges - in favour of preferred option ie increasing fees and charges rather than increasing rates to cover increased costs associated with some services (unanimous). The proposal is to increase fees and charges across a number of service delivery areas including planning, Energy Events Centre, parks and inspection;
Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC) - in favour of preferred option ie reducing the UAGC (which is the fixed portion of general rates that every property will play regardless of capital value) by $50 to $425 to more evenly spread the burden of rates (Cr Kumar and Mrs Trumper voted against this option);
Homes and thriving communities - in favour of preferred option ie continue to support the outcomes and action plans identified in He Papakāinga, He Hāpori Taurikura Te Poupou Rautaki - Homes and Thriving Communities Strategic Framework, noting that where appropriate further feedback received will be incorporated and supporting ongoing work between Council and partner stakeholders to lead implementation (unanimous);
Economic development - in favour of supporting the outcomes identified in the draft Economic Development Strategy with implementation to be initiated during the first three years of the LTP and proceeding with Council's commitment of $29 million towards economic development ($9m in 2020/21 year and $20m 2021/22 year), and supporting ongoing work between Council, business leaders and partners to lead development of action plans (unanimous);
Climate change - in favour of supporting the outcomes identified in the Climate Action Plan, noting implementation will be initiated through the first three years of the LTP and supporting ongoing work with stakeholders and the community to lead implementation of the plan (unanimous).
See the agenda, including recommendtions, for the LTP deliberations HERE on Council's website, the presentation slides used to set the scene on Monday ahead of deliberations beginning HERE, and a document outlining feedback on other matters (ie matters outside of those which were included in the LTP consultation document) HERE
Key facts about the Long-term Plan (LTP):
- The LTP sets out what Council will undertake across the next 10 years and how that will be funded.
- The LTP is reviewed every three years to ensure it remains relevant and reflects the direction of Council and of the Rotorua district.
- Community consultation was undertaken between 30 March and 30 April 2021 and was based on the consultation document that outlined Council's key priorities and key proposals for the LTP.
- Consultation included opportunities for residents to provide feedback directly to elected members and people could also give feedback online, in writing or over the phone.
- More than 780 individuals, groups and organisations provided feedback (611 gave feedback online, via forms, email and by post; 105 people gave verbal feedback at 7 public feedback sessions; more than 60 youth gave feedback via face to face engagement)
Links to information and meeting recordings:
- You can view all LTP feedback received on Council's Let's Talk/Korero Mai consultation platform HERE. (See upper right information box titled Deliberation Documents').
- You can view the summary of feedback provided to the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee for its deliberations HERE (meeting agenda).