Rotorua Lakes Council release Long-term Plan

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick. Image: Christel Yardley/Stuff.

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Long-term Plan sets some “mammoth” undertakings to address unprecedented challenges and move the district forward, says mayor Steve Chadwick.

The LTP for 2021-2031 sets out what the council will deliver across the next 10 years and how that will be funded.

It will see investment into the district totalling $749 million with more than half of that, $424 million, going into core infrastructure.

A full council meeting was carried out on Monday to make final decisions on the LTP and set the rates for the 2021/22 financial year.

During the meeting Chadwick spoke about how this LTP is vastly different to its predecessors and will enable council to keep the district moving forward.

She expressed the need for Council to invest to ensure Rotorua didn’t go backwards.

Chadwick also reinforced the need to continue working in partnership with Central Government, iwi and the community to achieve positive outcomes for the district.

Development of the LTP had emphasised the need to work differently and at pace in an environment that was not business-as-usual, she says.

“This enables us to get on and get things done.”

After the meeting Chadwick said the LTP set some ambitious goals but council had to be bold and innovative to get the change needed to keep Rotorua progressing.

“A lot has changed as a result of Covid and this Long-term Plan is about mahi tahi – doing the hard work to get things done and achieve the solutions and outcomes our community needs.”

The LTP is underpinned by key strategies including a 30-year infrastructure plan which was also approved on Monday, and strategies for housing, economic development and recovery, community safety and climate change.

The plan has a focus on the district’s key challenges and issues the community has indicated are a priority – housing, community safety, economic development and jobs, climate change and infrastructure, says a statement from Rotorua Lakes Council.

An average 9.2 per cent general rates rise will occur to deliver what is planned for the first year of the LTP with rates increases expected to reduce across the remainder of the plan to an average of 4 per cent, says the statement.

Investment across the term of the LTP includes:

· $424 million for core infrastructure – sewerage, stormwater, water supplies and roading.

· An extra $500,000 per year to improve community safety.

· $26 million committed to economic development projects and initiatives.

· $18 million to improve the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.

· Investment in Tarawera sewerage scheme and completing Rotoiti/Rotoma scheme.

· Progressing projects already underway to completion (including the lakefront, forest, museum and performing arts centre developments).

LTP targets for delivery:

  • 3000 new homes in five years, 6000 by 2030 and land available for an additional 4000 residential sections with a total of 10,000.
  • Two inner city apartment buildings.
  • Regeneration of 4 to 5 neighbourhoods/communities.
  • Establishment of community hubs in Eastside, Western suburbs and Ngongotaha with neighbourhood co-creation and investment programmes for each location.
  • Extending and enhancing CCTV network and other safety initiatives.

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