Time running out to have say on NRC’s new 10-year plan

29 Mar 2021, 11:42 AM

Time is running out for people to have their say on a Long Term Plan designed to meet new central government requirements, boost regional resilience and realise the North’s collective potential in changing times.

A series of ‘Have Your Say’ events around the region finished in Kaitaia on Saturday, 27 March after earlier visits to Whangārei, Kerikeri, Otiria, Waipū and Dargaville last week.

The Have Your Say events – the public’s chance to talk to councillors and staff and provide feedback in person – are part of an official month-long consultation period that will end Friday 16 April.

The regional council says while people would prefer not to face rates rises, most supported the rationale behind its proposed $71 annual rise in the average regional rates bill over the next year.

As proposed, the roughly $1.36 per week the regional council’s newly-released proposals for its Long Term Plan (LTP) 2021-2031 would add to the average ratepayer’s rates bill from July reflects a delicate balancing act.

Factors considered include new requirements passed to local authorities by central government, making the most of central government funding opportunities, attempting to meet wider community aspirations by Northlanders and importantly, carefully weighing people‘s ability to pay.

The council has produced a ‘Consultation Document’ outlining the main projects it’s considering – and how they might be funded – as the basis for public feedback.

Councillors collectively believe the 19.8 percent rates rise is necessary for Northland to stay strong and continue growing in what is an uncertain climate, but want to hear what the community thinks before making their final decision.

For the first year of the 10-year plan the council’s proposing around $6.2M of new work spread across three ‘activity groupings’ – natural environment, community resilience and regional leadership. Further information about the LTP is available online from www.nrc.govt.nz/futureplan