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A message from Mayor Helen

Helen-Worboys.pngA key role of Council is to plan for the future, and our Long Term Plan 2018 - 2028 is an important part of this. This plan outlines the projects and priorities that we believe position the District for a successful future - a connected, vibrant and thriving Manawatū.

The proposed average rate increase is 4.7 per cent for the 2018/19 year, with an additional 0.2 per cent required for increased services (stormwater improvements), and 1.6 per cent due to the increased number of ratepayers (growth), making total average rates increase of 6.5 per cent.

For many ratepayers, however the proposed increase is significantly lower, and with some paying a higher percentage increase as a result of changes in differentials. I suggest you focus on the dollar change rather than the percentage.

Our highest priorities remain the provision of good quality and sustainable water, wastewater, stormwater and roading services, along with good community facilities and services, and encouraging and supporting economic growth.

We face a number of challenges including how best to fund investment in a fair and equitable way so that those who benefit from the services pay an appropriate share for these services, while ensuring that Council maintains a manageable level of debt. We are proposing changes in rating differentials to improve equity.

Planned growth leads to prosperity and a larger population over which to spread the rating burden. Growth requires good infrastructure which costs millions of dollars. We need to balance the levels of services with affordability and competitiveness.

We would like to do more, but consider that affordability and the ability to service loans must be taken into account. This is why we have carefully reviewed the projects and budgets, and have made the decision that some of them will no longer proceed.

As your Mayor and Councillors, we aim to represent your interests to the best of our ability, while planning for a vibrant future for our District.

We encourage you to be part of the consultation process and look forward to hearing from you. There is more information in the following pages on this website.

Your feedback will help us make informed decisions - we need to know if you support the proposals, or if you don’t.

Helen Worboys
Mayor
Manawatū District Council