Tauranga Council adopts Long Term Plan
Tauranga City Council’s commissioners have adopted the city’s audited 2021-31 Long-term Plan, together with its supporting Revenue and Finance Policy, Financial Strategy and Infrastructure Strategy.
Speaking after today’s Council meeting, Commission Chair Anne Tolley says the LTP marks a significant step forward for Tauranga and will progressively address the city’s inadequate and aging community facilities and infrastructure needs.
“Developing a robust LTP and engaging with the community to ensure that it is understood and supported were two of the key functions the Commission was charged with when we were appointed and its very satisfying to have ticked-off those milestones,” says Tolley.
“The work programme set out in the LTP gives us the building blocks to create a great city. It’s now up to all of us to deliver on that promise, because the future of Tauranga literally depends on it.”
Key planks underlying the adopted 10-year plan, which were highlighted through the consultation process, are:
• The adoption of a $4.6 billion capital investment programme (supported by 46 per cent of submitters responding to the level of investment option in the draft plan, with 16 per cent supporting a lower level of investment and 36 per cent - most of which were proforma responses - wanting much lower rates increases, and by implication, lower levels of investment);
• The introduction of targeted rates (supported by 67 per cent of submitters on that option)
• An increase in the commercial differential rate from 1.2:1 to 1.6:1 (supported by 71 per cent of submitters);
• Separation of the Pitau Road and Hinau Street villages from the elder housing portfolio, to be sold for private development (80 per cent support);
• Establishment of a $1.8 million Community Grants Fund (72 per cent support); and
• Centralising Council administration functions in new leased premises to be built at 90 Devonport Road (82 per cent support).
The LTP became operative immediately after adoption, with rates charges backdated to 1 July and other fees and charges taking effect from 1 August.
For a median value residential property, 2021/22 rates will increase by 16 per cent, including the cost of the new kerbside waste collection service (which for many people has replaced a more costly service provided by private contractors) and targeted rates (excluding water rates).
That equates to $7.08 a week, or around two 2-litre bottles of milk.
For a median value commercial property, rates will increase by 35 per cent, or $32.14 a week, bringing commercial rates more into line with those applying in other centres.
Also adopted at today’s Council meeting was the Development Contributions Policy 2021/22.
This provides for a significant increase in citywide development contributions, a charge paid by all new developments, to fund our core infrastructure.
The increase will be phased in over the next year, instead of being applied in full on 1 August, as a result of community concerns heard through the submission process.
The citywide development contribution for a dwelling of three or more bedrooms will increase from $12,208 (current policy) to $19,708 on 1 August 2021, and then to $28,557 on 1 February 2022.
The main reason for this increase is to help fund the construction of fit-for-purpose infrastructure to meet the city’s current needs and cater for future growth.
If development contributions were not used, this cost would have to be funded from rates.