Taupō District Council today adopted its Annual Plan 2022-23
The Annual Plan sets out the projects that Council will carry out, the services that will be delivered and how they will be delivered over the next 12 months.
Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said preparing the Annual Plan has been challenging, with project affordability impacted by severe constraints on resources and supplies, as well as high inflation. Council has worked hard to ease the financial impact on ratepayers.
When Council consulted on the draft annual plan in March the forecast average rates increase was 8.35 per cent, consisting of the 7.35 per cent increase outlined in the council’s Long-term Plan plus another 1 per cent due to the increased prices of carbon credits, which are a mandatory cost imposed by central government.
After listening to community feedback, Council reviewed all its operational budgets to identify further cost savings across all areas and as a result has been able to cut back the 2022-23 average rates increase to 7.07 per cent. This is an average figure only and the increase will vary from property to property depending on value and services received.
“This has been a year like no other – and we’ve tried our absolute best to balance the average rates increase, while continuing to invest in core infrastructure and deliver a wide range of services to meet the community’s needs,” Mr Trewavas said.
Projects that remain in the Annual Plan include $4.4 million to finish the government-funded Taupō Town Centre Transformation Project to a higher standard than the government funding allows. This major capital project, which began in 2020, is expected to finish in December this year.
“The Taupō Town Centre Transformation project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our CBD into a world-class area that will attract people to spend time and money in,” said Mr Trewavas.
Council also plans to continue with vital water infrastructure upgrades around the district.
“We have several projects underway to supply water for our communities that meets Drinking Water Standards New Zealand.
“Irrespective of what happens to our water infrastructure in the future, we are committed to providing safe drinking water,” said Mr Trewavas. “If the Three Waters reforms proceed, our water-related debt, as well as our water assets, would be transferred to the new water entity.”
The draft Annual Plan proposed bringing forward $300,000 for consultants’ investigations into a second bridge across the Waikato River. This will now remain in 2025-26 as originally scheduled.
Mr Trewavas said despite the challenging economic conditions, the council has also recently had its AA+ stable outlook credit rating renewed by Standard & Poors for its strong financial management. He said the council looked forward to working with its communities to bring the 2022-23 Annual Plan to life.
“Together, we can ensure the Taupō District remains the vibrant and attractive heart of the North Island as New Zealand re-opens to the world,” says Mr Trewavas.
The Annual Plan was adopted two weeks late after the council’s finance team, which prepares the financial information in the plan, was hit hard by illness.
The Annual Plan 2022-23 is available to view here taupo.govt.nz/annualplan.
You can view the rates for your property for 2022-23 at taupo.govt.nz/rates.