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Staying focussed on critical infrastructure need - Council adopts Annual Plan

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Central Hawke’s Bay District Council last week confirmed its annual budget for 2022/23, consistent with what was adopted for Year 2 of the weighty Long Term Plan in 2021, with an additional $1.6 million in rates required for the coming year to operate the district. 

As part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, Central Hawke’s Bay residents ‘Faced up to the Facts’, including confronting issues of historic underinvestment in the district’s water assets.  This year’s annual plan – the second year of the 2021 -2031 Long Term Plan - is the second year of Council’s deliberate approach to address its significant historic underinvestment in its assets 

Finance and Instructure Committee Chair Brent Muggeridge says that Councillors have carefully considered this year’s required increase, working to bring the increase down from 7.5% to 6.8% in line with Year 2 of the Long Term Plan. 

“We acknowledge that everyone is doing it tough, and despite the pressures of inflation have managed to keep this year’s rates increase at 6.8% - consistent with Year 2 of the Long Term Plan”, says Councillor Muggeridge. 

“We can assure you this year’s increases are essential to stay the course of our deliberate plan to address the historic investment in our infrastructure that has plagued us for decades”. 

With significant increases in property values across the entire district, understanding the impact of this year’s annual plan has been particularly challenging for Council, following delays to the release of new property values from Quotable Value (QV) due to the COVID-19 Auckland lockdown in late 2021.  With there being no practical options to mitigate the impacts of new property values on how some rates are distributed ahead of Council’s legislative requirement to adopt rates by 30 June, navigating through the impacts has been difficult. 

“To be honest, the delays to the QV values and our ability to meaningfully assess and consider the impacts on rates for our community have been incredibly frustrating”, says Mayor Alex Walker.   

“The result of the timing means as elected members we simply don’t have the options and tools available to us to respond to the impacts of the new property values on some rates, while still having to meet our legislative responsibility to adopt and set rates by 30 June.” 

“While the increased values recognise what we all know is the value of this district, the timing couldn’t have been worse.” 

With property owners formally set to receive their notices of their new property valuations from QV as at 1 September 2021 this week, if owners do not agree with their new rating value, they have the right to object before May 10 on the QV website or at the Councils offices. 

To read Council’s Annual Plan 2022/23 and to find out the new rating impacts for your property – head to Council’s website and search ‘#AnnualPlan2022'

13 April 2022

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