Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee decisions
The Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee has approved a draft Development Contributions Policy for the purpose of community consultation.
People will be able to make submissions from Monday as part of the consultation process, which will also involve a hearing prior to decision-making.
The development of the policy has been flagged in both the 2018 – 2028 Long-term Plan and the 2021 – 2031 Long-term Plan.
The vast majority of councils have Development Contributions policies and the DC rates proposed for Rotorua Lakes Council compare favourably to other districts, Deputy CE Organisational Enablement Thomas Collé told the committee today.
Mr Collé said Rotorua’s housing crisis was one reason development contributions were needed and why the council needed to keep investing in infrastructure. Development contributions were a mechanism to enable this and were signalled in the Long-term Plan to help fund infrastructure that would be needed to cater to growth.
Council plans to invest close to $750m into infrastructure during the next 10 years, $60m of which has been identified as new infrastructure to support population growth. Mr Collé said the Long-term Plan sought to provide up to $32m of that $60m from development contributions across the next 10 years and if elected members ultimately decided to not adopt a policy,that cost would move back to the ratepayers.
The report to the committee indicated an intention for the policy to take effect from September this year but Mr Collé indicated at the meeting that due to what was involved in implementation it was likely to be later than that.
Summary of report to the committee
The key purpose of development contributions is to ensure the developer creating the need for growth infrastructure pays a fair share of the capital cost for new or expanded infrastructure.
As Rotorua grows, so does the need for reliable infrastructure. It is Rotorua Lakes Council’s responsibility to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to cater for the expected growth.
Council has previously had a Development Contributions Policy. This was adopted as part of its Long-term Plan in 2006.
Following the Global Financial Crisis, the Rotorua economic environment was in a ‘low’ to ‘no growth’ phase and at this time development contributions were perceived as a disincentive to growth in the Rotorua context.
The Council at the time clearly indicated they were committed to doing what they could to enable investment in Rotorua and the removal of the Development Contributions Policy was undertaken as a special consultative procedure as part of the 2014 Annual Plan process. Development contributions were phased out over the 2014-15 financial year.
During the last five years Rotorua has experienced exponential growth needs across the city and the infrastructure that caters for this growth needs to be created. This infrastructure needs to be timely and comes at a cost.
Development contributions ensure the developers are paying their fair share towards the growth related requirements of the district - taking the burden off ratepayers in the district.
Following approval from the committee today, community consultation on the draft Policy will begin next Monday, 16 May, and will run until 16 June 2022. This will be followed by hearings ahead of final decision-making.
Go to p20 of today’s meeting agenda to view the report on this matter.
You can view the draft policy HERE
You can view the Statement of Proposal relating to the draft policy HERE
You can view the slides used for the presentation of this item today HERE
Today’s meeting was livestreamed. You can watch the whole meeting by going to THIS LINK on Council’s YouTube channel, or go directly to the part of the meeting relating to the Draft Development Contributions Policy via THIS LINK in the recording.
Check Council’s online engagement platform Let’s Talk/Korero Mai from Monday, 16 May, for more information and to find out how you can provide feedback.