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Road to Recovery – Consultation opens for Three Year Plan

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The options and trade-offs community have to set Council's budget for the next three years is the focus of consultation for Council's Three Year Plan 2024-2027, which opens for community feedback today.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, along with other councils across the country, is developing its budget in difficult times, with fixed costs such as construction, debt servicing, insurance and audit costs up significantly over the past three years. The district is also facing damage from Cyclone Gabrielle, with $129 million of unfunded roading repairs and major investment in wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure required.

Three budget options that explore a lower, central and higher rating requirement have been developed for consultation, which trade-off investment and service levels across four areas: land transport, drinking water and wastewater, prioritising stormwater following Cyclone Gabrielle, and other service reductions and efficiencies.

In the preferred Central Option, average rates increases of 20.0% are proposed in Year 1, 15.6% in Year 2 and 10.9% in Year 3.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council Mayor Alex Walker says the Central Option aims to strike a responsible balance between attempting to limit rate increases as much as possible for the community while investing in critical infrastructure.

"We’ve had to be ruthless in prioritising existing and new expenditure for the next three years, focusing on three key urgent priorities: land transport, critical three waters investment and recovery.

"Tough calls have also been made to get here. This includes closing and reducing some services, such as our transfer stations and libraries. We've also used external funding in the first year to reduce average rates by over four percent. But none of this is enough to soften the blow of these proposed rate increases.

"Undoubtedly, rates affordability for our community is going to be the biggest challenge. However, we can't repeat past mistakes and choose not to fund critical infrastructure," Mayor Walker says.

To help inform feedback, residents can read the Consultation Document and make a submission by visiting or the Council website:

Hard copies are also available at Waipawa Library, Te Huinga Wai – The Knowledge and Learning Hub in Waipukurau and Council offices in Waipawa. Feedback is open until 11.59 pm on Sunday 12 May 2024.

7 June 2024

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