The Waikato District Council is pleased to announce the adoption of its 2023/24 Annual Plan, demonstrating its commitment to enhancing community wellbeing and strengthening the district's disaster relief fund.
The plan sets out the direction for the coming year, focusing on strategic decision-making, efficient resource allocation, and responsiveness to residents' diverse and evolving requirements.
"Our top priority is to always put our communities first, navigating change while keeping their needs at the forefront," says Waikato district Mayor Jacqui Church.
The Annual Plan outlines budget allocations for the year, including infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. It introduces a targeted rate which will directly support environmental restoration in Tamahere.
It also includes a seven per cent general rate increase, which Council acknowledges as a direct response to external factors that have significantly impacted service delivery and infrastructure maintenance.
“Unforeseen factors such as a 7.7 per cent increase in the cost of living for New Zealand households since 2022 have exceeded our initial predictions outlined in the Long-Term Plan.
“These higher inflation rates have directly affected our operational costs and financial capabilities. It is essential for us to keep pace with rising costs to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of essential services that our residents rely on daily," says Mayor Church.
The rate increase will also enable Council to bolster its depleted disaster recovery fund after the widespread flooding and slips experienced in the North of the district earlier this year.
Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion says, "by making this strategic decision, we aim to enhance our readiness in responding to future weather events that may impact the district, ensuring the safety and well-being of our community.
“We are committed to maintaining the quality and reliability of our services, even in the face of economic and environmental challenges. The rate increase supports our commitment to providing uninterrupted services and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our district."
The adopted Annual Plan reflects Council's dedication to its residents, as well as its commitment to build resilient and thriving communities. By prioritising community well-being and strengthening disaster resilience, the Council is actively working towards a brighter future for all.Learn more about our Annual Plan 2023/24 here.