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Local Government

From Mayor Len Salt on the Long-Term Plan

Our Councillors, Community Board members and staff have gone through considerable effort in recent months to pull together the draft Long-Term Plan, or LTP, for the next decade.
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The LTP helps us answer questions such as: “What facilities and amenities should we be providing? What can we afford?”

As a Council, we ask for the participation and feedback of our staff, elected members, iwi, other partners including government agencies, ratepayers and local communities, and decide on the best way to prioritise and fund them.

The LTP has a 10-year-and-beyond timeframe, with detailed budgets and project priorities for the first three financial years.

The LTP sets the rates and fees and charges. It’s reviewed every three financial years and a new LTP is produced. Council’s financial years run from 1 July to 30 June.

It’s become clear that this is one of the most challenging Long-Term Plans for our Council in a very long time. A lot of that is driven by the storm effects, but all councils are facing significant cost increases from inflation, fuel price increases, interest rates and the higher cost of doing business which is affecting every household.

We also need to meet higher compliance standards, replace ageing infrastructure, and meet the challenges of climate change.

For quite a few months we’ve been informally gathering input from the community: we held drop-in sessions in October that were open to all, staff and elected members have been meeting with iwi, resident and ratepayer groups, partner agencies and other stakeholders and interest groups.

Now we’re just about ready for the formal public consultation that the Local Government Act requires.

Everyone is invited to submit feedback on the draft LTP and in particular the main options we’re proposing. These are all spelled out in our consultation document and supporting information which will be available from 8 March to 8 April.

The consultation document is your roadmap to our LTP proposals, what it will all cost and how it’s funded. It also outlines the impact on the rates property owners pay that fund the bulk of our facilities and services. This and the supporting material such as proposed capital spending, our infrastructure strategy and more will be available on our website or ask at one of our service centres or district libraries.

It’s important to know that we haven’t developed our draft budgets and work programmes on the premise that rates and fees must increase. But having considered the early feedback from our communities about their priorities, and taking into account the cost drivers I mentioned above, there isn’t any other reasonable option but to increase rates and fees if we are to maintain our current services. Given that so much of what we do now is required by law, there is little scope for major reductions in our current services.

Please read our consultation document, study the supporting documents if you want more information, come back to us with questions if you have them by emailingcustomer.services@tcdc.govt.nz, or calling 07 868 0200, and most importantly – provide your feedback.

www.tcdc.govt.nz/ltp-2024-2034

Draft 2024 Regional Land Transport Plan is open for consultation

The net result of the proposed plan is a significant commitment to funding resilience in the Thames Coromandel and Hauraki Districts. No other District Council had been affected to the same extent in, and this has been recognised in the plan.

The link to the draft document, the supplementary evidence document and the submission portal can be found at https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/draft-rltp-2024. The consultation period runs from 2 February 2024 to 4 March 2024.