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News in brief, April 25, 2023

Update to Plan

South Wairarapa councillors are set to meet tomorrow to adopt the proposed 2023-34 Annual Plan Consultation/Engagement Document. It will be tabled at the meeting. Unlike neighbouring councils, SWDC has not previously voted on whether it will consult or simply engage with residents and ratepayers on this year’s plan. The council has also not released a rates rise estimate for this year. According to the Long-Term Plan, however, rates were set to increase by just over 3 per cent for the 2023-24 financial year. This increase is considered unlikely, though, with councils around New Zealand dealing with higher-than-forecast inflation, higher interest rates on borrowing, insurance costs, and increased renewal and depreciation costs. Masterton ratepayers are facing an average proposed rates increase of 7.9 per cent, and Carterton is facing 6.2 per cent. – NZLDR

Consent sought

Carterton councillors voted last week to fund a new resource consent for the Kaipatangata Water Treatment Plant by using the savings from pausing work on developing an alternative water source. The council will put a stop to all work related to the development and implementation of an alternative water source. By pausing the project, there will be a financial saving of $111,774 in capital this financial year, a recent report to council stated. – NZLDR

Council requests

The South Wairarapa District Council Maori Standing Committee [MSC] has outlined three requests it want the council to consider as part of its 2023-24 Annual Plan. MSC chair Andrea Rutene said the intention behind the committee’s proposed submission was to see the district’s marae flourish. The first request is that the council include South Wairarapa urupa at Kohunui Marae, Whakatomotomo, and Paapaawai Marae in the maintenance schedule that is currently in place for Featherston, Greytown, and Martinborough cemeteries. Secondly, that the council work with the Significant Sites group to investigate reinstating the paper road access that leads to Owhanga Landing Reserve, on the Western side of Wairarapa Moana. Thirdly, that the council secures funding to commission a carver to do a series of pou in each South Wairarapa town, including Pirinoa. The MSC is set to meet on Thursday at 6pm at the Waihinga Centre Supper Room in Martinborough. – NZLDR

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