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Every three years, Council sets about developing a Long Term Plan (LTP) in consultation with you, our community. The LTP is a key strategic planning document that sets out the community vision, work plans and budgets for the next 10 years. 

In the years between Long-Term Plans, Council produces an Annual Plan to check in on how things are going and where we might need to make some changes to keep delivering the services that our communities need and expect.

2024/25 Annual Plan

Although we were meant to start a new Long-Term Plan process this year, due to the changing political landscape and legislation around the Water Service Act Bill, central government has given local councils the option to defer their 2024-34 Long-Term Plans by 12 months and instead prepare an ‘enhanced’ Annual Plan for the 2024/25 financial year.

On 28 February 2024, Waikato District Council decided to take this option and deliver a short-term plan, called the 2024/25 Annual Plan. This approach provides more time to address immediate challenges in our district, particularly concerning water infrastructure, Waka Kotahi funding, affordability, and QV rates revaluation timelines. It also allows more time to gain a better certainty about the government’s next steps regarding initiatives such as ‘Local Water Done well.’ This aligns our planning with broader government objectives.

The 2024/25 Annual Plan will outline our activities, projects, programmes, priorities, and initiatives for the next 12 months and their rating impacts. It will provide insight into our decision-making processes, where our resources are being allocated and our responsiveness to your diverse and evolving needs. Essentially it will outline year one of the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan but as a standalone document and will includes elements that are typically part of an LTP and requires consultation, which distinguishes it from a 'normal' Annual Plan.

The decision to defer the 2024-34 LTP was made with our communities in mind, allowing us to set our strategic direction for the upcoming year whilst we gain more certainty around central government’s plans to implement new water legislation.

This decision demonstrates our commitment to enhance community well-being and build a stronger future together. We will continue to focus on our vision of creating vibrant and inclusive communities by providing essential services and infrastructure.

Keep reading to learn more about the 2024/25 Annual Plan, our timeline, and the reasons behind our decision to defer the LTP. This page will continue to be updated throughout the 2024/25 Annual Plan process.

Why have we chosen the ‘enhanced’ Annual Plan option?

The decision to opt for a 2024/25 Annual Plan has been driven by our commitment to ensuring that our ratepayers are charged with the right amount for the services they receive. The most important thing to us is the wellbeing of our communities, and the enhanced Annual Plan process will achieve the best outcome for everyone involved.

This decision has additionally been influenced by the need to leverage confirmed rating valuations, secure Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) subsidies for the district’s roading programme, and have a better understanding of water infrastructure requirements, central government policy and affordability implications.

Essentially, throughout this new process we will be able to:

  1. Address immediate changes and challenges facing our district around water infrastructure.
  2. Receive an official confirmation on our funding from Waka Kotahi in September 2024, which typically accounts for about a third of the Council’s total budget, with 51 per cent subsidised by Waka Kotahi.
  3. Address funding, affordability, and timelines around the rates revaluation process.

It will also give us more time to engage with you about the services, activities, and projects we will deliver, and how much they will cost in rates.

See below for more information on some of the key factors behind our decision.

Rating valuation

Our district is currently undergoing a property revaluation process and new rating data for individual properties will not be available until close to the end of our proposed consultation period on the Long-Term Plan. This will make it very difficult to communicate to ratepayers the exact rating implications for their property.

Completing the Annual Plan instead means we know the outcome of the property revaluations for year two of the 2024-2034 LTP and can budget accordingly.

Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency)

We expect to receive official confirmation on our funding from Waka Kotahi in September 2024.

Roading is typically about a third of Council’s total budget, with 51 per cent subsidised by Waka Kotahi. Delaying our Long-Term Plan provides us with more time to clearly communicate with our community about what       we’re doing and make sure we get the balance for rates over the next couple of years. We want to show that we’re not asking for too much or too little to cover the costs of delivering our projects.


Deferring the LTP by 12 months will allow time to gain better certainty around the next steps the Government intends to take to implement ‘Local Water Done Well’.

We understand what’s needed to get our water infrastructure renewed and able to manage our district’s economic and residential growth. However, it’s not affordable for our ratepayers, so we’ll be using this year to engage with central government on alternative solutions.

Timeline and consultation period

We are still working within the LTP timeline, and the enhanced Annual Plan will be adopted by Council on 25 June 2024.

However, before the Annual Plan 2024/25 can be adopted, we need to hear from you!

We will be consulting with you on key topic within the Annual Plan between 25 March and 26 April 2024. During this period, you will get the opportunity to attend face to face meetings within your communities and submit formal feedback on key consultation topics.

We will be using all our communication channels to engage with you including social media, face to face meetings, media stories, letter drops and more, so keep an eye out or get in touch with our team to learn more about the consultation period and how to engage with us.

Current Annual Plan