Long-Term Plan consultation now open

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Consultation on Rotorua Lakes Council’s 2021 – 2031 Long-Term Plan is now open.

The Long-Term Plan (LTP) sets out what Council is proposing to achieve over the next ten years and how that will be funded.

These proposals are explained in the consultation document available HERE.

Rotorua Mayor, Steve Chadwick, encourages the community to have their say.

“Elected members have been listening and hearing the same issues consistently raised by our community as key concerns. We have worked hard to develop a set of actions that will address these concerns for the benefit of our community now, and into the future.

“These proposed actions are explained in our LTP consultation document. Starting today, you can review these plans and let us know if we’ve got it right. It is vital that you provide us with feedback as the Long-term Plan will affect everyone in our District.

“Last week at our Council hui you may have heard this plan be described as transformational, and visionary. It is just that. To achieve bold outcomes, we need bold action. At such a critical time, it would not go far enough to propose anything less.

“There is a lot of mahi to do to make Rotorua a thriving and prosperous place for everyone. The change will not happen overnight, and we cannot do it alone. We are proposing significant investment. But this is investment in the areas that you, our community, have told us are the most important,” says Mayor Chadwick.

The LTP consultation document has been developed based on Council’s key priorities, which reflect the issues the community has previously told Council are important.

The consultation document includes key questions for the community to consider - particularly around levels of investment.

The community is being asked to consider the level of investment proposed for:

1. The Aquatic Centre (fix the issues or upgrade to provide a regional facility to be proud of)

2. A Community Safety Plan (the development of the plan and the level it should be funded)

3. Fees and charges (a proposal to increase fees and charges or increase rates to fund these services)

4. Consideration of the rates affordability (a proposal to lower the uniform annual general charge)

The community is encouraged to read through the consultation document, consider the mahi that is proposed and take the opportunity to share their thoughts with Council.

Feedback can be provided online HERE, on a feedback form available from Council, or at a feedback session hosted by Council.

Feedback session details are as follows:

  • 7 April: Rotorua Lakes Council Chamber, 6pm - 8pm
  • 12 April: Rotoiti Sports Club, 6pm - 8pm
  • 14 April: Mamaku Hall, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
  • 20 April: Te Ao Marama, Ōhinemutu, 6pm – 8pm
  • 22 April: Rotorua Lakes Council Chamber, 6pm – 8pm
  • 27 April: Te Tākinga Marae, Mourea, 6pm – 8pm
  • 28 April: Tangatarua Marae, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, 6pm – 8pm

2021 – 2031 Long-Term Plan consultation document

He aha e mārohitia ana?

What is being proposed?

He Papakāinga, He Hāpori Taurikura - Homes and thriving communities

Accelerate 2000 new home builds, enable 3,000 sections coming to market, develop the inner city including two inner city apartment buildings, establish community service hubs at Eastside, Westside and Ngongotahā with neighbourhood co-creation and investment programmes at each of these locations, facilitate neighbourhood safety projects, partner with iwi, developers and central Government to help enable and deliver infrastructure and community projects that support the development of thriving communities.

Te Whakawhanake i Te Whare Kauhoe - Aquatic Centre redevelopment

Redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre has already begun, as indicated in the 2018-2028 Long-Term Plan. The community is now being asked what further investment they would like put into the Rotorua Aquatic Centre. Options range from doing the bare minimum, to repair and replace the worst affected areas, through to investing in the Aquatic Centre to create a facility the community is proud to visit, to learn to swim in, to have fun in, and to enjoy being active in.

Whanake Ōhanga - Economic Development

Council adopted its Draft Economic Strategy (EDS) in December 2020 which is a blueprint for economic recovery and longer-term growth in the district. To confront the challenges that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LTP consultation document includes proposed actions such as building investor confidence in our CBD, developing an incentives policy to support inner city residential development, re-stating and strengthening our tourism offerings, positioning Rotorua as the destination of choice, and creating a Forestry Future plan to outline opportunities for growth and development in this sector.

Whakahaumaru Hāpori - Community Safety

Council is proposing to commit an additional $500,000 per year to increase the level of funding in community safety.

Some of the elements of the proposed community safety plan include enhanced CCTV/electronic tools and community patrols within the CBD, Fenton Street, known hotspots and community neighbourhoods, increased ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’ (CPTED) assessment and treatment of hot-spot public places to make them safer, the development of Community Centre Hubs that enable community-led delivery of social and other services, grants to support community group initiatives that increase safety and support a range of programmes that keep people connected through positive activities in our public spaces.

Panonitanga Āhuarangi - Climate Change

Council’s goal is to position Rotorua in a low carbon economy and to ensure we work towards establishing ourselves as a resilient community that can adapt to the changes in climate.

The actions outlined in the LTP consultation document to achieve this are aligned with the Rotorua Climate Action Plan which was adopted by Council in February 2021. Many of the actions required are also reflected within the Council’s 30 year Infrastructure Strategy.

Rautaki Hangaroto - Infrastructure Strategy

Across 2021-2031 Council will invest $424 million into core infrastructure to renew and upgrade assets to meet current demand and future growth expectations. This will be spread across the sewerage, stormwater, roading and water activity groups and will include work such as upgrades to the current wastewater treatment plant, improvements to wastewater reticulation and treatment infrastructure in the Lake Tarawera, Lake Rotoehu (Kennedy Bay and Otautu Bay), Ngamotu and Mamaku communities, and further investment in stormwater infrastructure, storage and conveyance to enable land development and to address the growing impacts of climate change.

Rautaki Pūtea - Financial Strategy

The financial strategy is a cornerstone of Council achieving the goal of living within its means, and ensuring sufficient funding is available for key projects over the coming ten years. It outlines key financial parameters and limits which the Council will operate within, provides insight into Council’s current financial health and provides clarity on how this will be managed over the next 10 years.

The investment required to achieve what is set out in this LTP consultation document is significant, but it is needed to take our district from surviving to thriving.

Council is proposing to increase fees and charges in a number of council services to move the burden away from the general rate payer towards the individual directly receiving the service. This is further explained in the consultation document.

Ngā Reiti - Rates

To deliver the proposals set out in this consultation document, Council is considering a 9.2% average rates increase next year. An average annual rates increase of 3.8% is forecast for the following nine years. In 2020, there was a zero percent general rate rise to help reduce the immediate impact of COVID-19.

The rates increases, particularly during the first five years, are driven by Council’s ongoing commitment to delivering Vision 2030 projects and delivering outcomes in Council’s key priority areas (housing and thriving communities, safety, economic development, climate change and infrastructure).

Whakapanoni i te UAGC - A change to the UAGC

The uniform annual general charge (UAGC) is the fixed portion of rates that every ratepayer pays regardless of property value. A fixed charge ensures every ratepayer pays the same minimum contribution for Council services.

The level at which the UAGC is set can affect the distribution of rates collected. The 2020 property revaluation has created a distortion in the overall proportion of capital value across the rating categories resulting in the general rate being skewed towards residential and rural residential and away from farming.

Council is considering reducing the UAGC from $475 to $425 to assist with the affordability of rates and to ensure ratepayers are paying a fair share of the general rates. This change would see a greater proportion of general rates charged on capital value instead of as a fixed charge.

Tuhinga Tautoko - Supporting documents

The mahi outlined in the LTP is guided by some of Council’s key strategies, including:

Consultation will run until 4pm on Friday, April 30.

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