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Small funding ‘tweaks’ proposed for Annual Plan

4 Mar 2019, 9:33 AM

Following a raft of initiatives introduced last year to tackle water, pests and flood infrastructure, a series of small funding ‘tweaks’ are proposed for the Northland Regional Council’s Annual Plan 2019/20.

Chairman Bill Shepherd says last year’s ‘bold and visionary’ Long Term Plan had set the scene for the council to invest more than ever in helping native life flourish, caring for our water and protecting communities from flood risk.

Cover of the Annual Plan Consultation Document.

He says almost one year into the LTP – and with heaps of amazing work underway across the region – there are just a few tweaks needed to ‘keep the waka on course’.

“Overall, it’s only small changes, but we think it's important to talk to our communities before finalising anything.”

Among the tweaks being considered to the 2019/20 budget:

- An extra $377,500 to help council computer systems cope with extra workload
- Replacing the engines on the council’s main workboat ‘Waikare’ a year earlier than planned ($110,000)
- Buying a few extra pieces of vital water monitoring gear ($37,800)

Chairman Shepherd says the cost of most of the proposed tweaks can be funded from reserves and increased rates income from regional growth, leaving just $192,500 to be funded by rates.

“In essence, this will mean an extra 0.7% on rates, or about $2.60 a year more than budgeted in last year’s Long Term Plan, making an overall increase of 8.6% for the average ratepayer.”

Overall, the tweaks would add $382,500 to the council’s our operational budget for the year, bringing it to $48.5 million in total.

Chairman Shepherd says more detail on the proposed tweaks and how the council plans to fund them, can be found in its supporting information document at: www.nrc.govt.nz/annualplan2019

The public can comment on the Annual Plan proposals from Monday, 04 March until Friday 05 April.