Good News On Rates For Kāpiti

Kāpiti Coast District Councillors will consider a 2.6 per cent rates rise tomorrow.

Kāpiti Councillors fronting up to major decisions

This is less than half the rate rise predicted before the Covid-19 lockdown (5.7 per cent).

The decision on rates will come at a meeting to discuss the draft Annual Plan and average rates increase for the 2020/21 year.

Mayor K Gurunathan says in light of the COVID-19 virus and the need to support the Kāpiti Coast community the Council has reassessed its planned spending for the year ahead.

Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says many difficulties lie ahead

“We are acutely aware of the fact that many people and businesses in our community are hurting as a result of the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.

“And we can expect that things will continue to be difficult and uncertain for some time to come,” Mr Gurunathan says.

“As a Council we’ve moved at pace to review budgets to make sure we are well placed to support the Kāpiti Coast community and (the)economy to get back on its feet while making sure that we can continue to do our job and deliver essential services in a sustainable way.

Goalposts have moved’

“At the heart of these discussions has been the need to try and keep rates as low as possible for Kāpiti ratepayers. The goalposts have moved dramatically since the Council first starting talking about its plans for the financial year ahead.”

Prior to New Zealand entering the Alert Level 4 lockdown the Council was looking at an average rates increase of 5.7 per cent.

“For the coming year we are proposing a 2.6 per cent rates increase. To get to this figure we’ve had to make some difficult decisions about our work programme and what we can progress and what will have to be put on hold. We’ve also looked at our funding arrangements.

“To go any lower, or to have a zero rates increase, would only defer necessary costs or require us to make cuts to services which would then lead to higher than average rates increases in future years to enable us to ‘catch-up’.

“It would also limit the Council’s ability to support the district to recover from COVID-19.”

The virtual meeting tomorrow

The Council will formally discuss the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan and proposed average rates increase at its virtual Council meeting tomorrow.

The Mayor adds: “Kāpiti faces a range of challenges and opportunities, some of which are longstanding, and some which are unknown at this point.

“As noted by the Treasury, the COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘once in a century’ event that will have profound impacts on economic and financial systems globally and in New Zealand.

“It is essential that the Council continues to deliver its services and play its vital role in the District’s economic, social and cultural recovery.”

Hi Alina, the original Waikanae Library budget for the 20/21 year will remain and cover the initial costs of consultation and planning.

Great initiative from Council indeed.

Does that mean funding for the Waikanae library will be continued to be cut in the next financial year. I would like an answer from Council please, many of us Waikanae people eagerly anticipate normalisation of our much loved Waikanae library.

It might be useful to see some comparison, out of the 20 councils I checked, 12 have yet to release their annual plan consultation document so we can’t yet see what their proposed average annual rate rise is. But here are the other 8.

Northland Regional 8.6%+
Whanganui City 2.3%+
Dunedin City 6.5% +
South Wairarapa 2.54%+
Tauranga 7.6%+
Porirua N/A
Nelson City 3.7%+
Blenheim 2.2%+
Palmerston North 4.4%+, to stay functioning, to be positioned to assist the community through the COVID19 response and fallout and provide and fund an ongoing relief package. The Government and L.G.N.Z. Do not recommend any council throws their viability to the wind and adopt the zero rate increase proposed by the Social Credit Party, although some are considering it. KCDC’s fees, charges and water charges will remain unchanged from last year. Your council have already made decisions to cut items from 2020/21 year LTP to cut this rates increase from 5.7% to 2.6% and look forward to your assistance and feedback. Public consultation will run for a month over the month of May. The full consultation document should be made available after tomorrows meeting. For further questions please do not hesitate to contact me on Jackie.elliott@kapiticoast.govt.nz or 0210452762

Is there some way that ratepayers can access the list of projects proposed to be cut from the programme before the meeting?

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