Manawatū District Council adopts Annual Plan 2023/24
At its Council meeting on Thursday, 18 May, Manawatū District Council adopted the Annual Plan for 2023/24.
The adoption of the Annual Plan confirms council’s budget and work priorities for the next year, whilst also thinking ahead to the next Long-term Plan which is currently being developed and will be adopted in 2024.
In her foreword for the Annual Plan, Mayor Helen Worboys acknowledges that people are under significant cost pressures currently, and that council has factored into the budget for the next 12 months.
“I’m incredibly proud of the council that I lead. Our team has worked very hard to keep our rates rise as low as possible. We know that people are doing it tough right now. We still face a number of challenges coming out of the pandemic, with inflation still high and the cost of living crisis taking a toll on many. But we can’t absorb these cost pressures without significantly reducing our levels of service to the community, so we have to strike a balance.”
The total increase in rates required to run Council business for 2023/24 is 6.94%, allowing for district growth.
Mayor Helen says that the rising costs through inflation, interest rates, and higher fuel prices impacts everyone, and these increases have a knock on effect to council and the day to day services.
Due to inflation, Council’s assets are now valued much higher than we had projected them to be, so replacing them in the future is likely to be more expensive than we had anticipated and we will need to decide how to manage this going forward. If future valuations continue to rise, then we may need to reduce investment in community assets, or raise rates.
Council decided not to conduct consultation with the public on the Annual Plan as there were no significant changes to what was in year three of the Manawatūmeke 10 Year Plan. However, with a new Long-term Plan process underway, Mayor Helen is encouraging residents to be involved in the process and help give elected members a steer on where they should be heading.
“The Long-term Plan is where we really want to people to make their mark on Manawatū, tell us what it is that they want and what it is that matters to them. We want our district to be a great place to live, but we need the communities input to help us.”
To ease the burden on residents, council has made a decision to defer the second stage of the Turners Road extension, which will see 24 hectares of land between Turners Road and Kawakawa Road repurposed for industrial businesses.
Council will be implementing new kerbside solid waste service for residents in Feilding, Rongotea, Himatangi Beach, Sanson and Halcombe in 2024. But the rates impact will be purely operational as the purchase of the bins is via funding from the Central Government Waste Levy Council.
People on lower incomes may be entitled to rates rebates to help bring down the cost of rates across the year. They are encouraged to contact council for more information or visit our website.
MDC also offers a Direct Debit service and ratepayers can choose weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or annual payments, whichever is the most suitable to them. There is no additional cost for this service.