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GWRC adds its chunk to rates hike

Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] has voted to increase rates by 16.94 per cent as it approved its annual plan.

The council has celebrated the increase, which was lower than the anticipated 17.8 per cent hike, which was proposed in April.

A council spokesperson said, however, that the increase is still higher than the 14.1 per cent rise set out in the long-term plan. It attributed the rise to “inflation and rising interest rates”.

They said extra public transport funding from the government allowed the increase to be “pared back” to 16.94 per cent, which on average will cost residential ratepayers “an extra $1.81 per week”.

According to data from the council’s approved annual plan, Carterton rural rates will increase 22.1 per cent, while Masterton’s will rise slightly more at 22.9 per cent and South Wairarapa’s will go up the most at 26.2 per cent.

Costs for residential properties are due to increase more than rural, with Carterton’s rising 22.6 per cent, Masterton’s going up 27 per cent and South Wairarapa’s rising 27.2 per cent.

Council chair Daran Ponter said the rates increase will “ensure that Greater Wellington can continue to deliver essential services for the benefit of the region”.

He said services include flood defences for vulnerable communities, and ensuring the region is adapting and preparing to face the impacts of climate change.

“This work cannot be stopped or delayed.”

Ponter said the “best outcome” for the region will be achieved through investing in resilience.

“We will continue progressing towards our long-term goals of a carbon-neutral, economically secure region.”

Greater Wellington deputy chair and Wairarapa representative Adrienne Staples said she was pleased that “regreening” projects was part of the plan.

“We will be looking to the future this year with the ambitious goal of planting a million seedlings this winter, improving our water quality and flood defences.”

“Funding these projects now will ensure future generations can enjoy our natural heritage, in a region that has prepared well for its future.”

One of the programmes funded in the annual plan is improvements to flood warning systems – which were called for by the council after Cyclone Gabrielle.

It will also fund the implementation of flood management plans.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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