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SWDC flags rates rise of 15.3 per cent

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] has proposed an average rates increase of 15.3 per cent.

The increase is signalled in the council’s draft Enhanced Annual Plan which will go out for consultation on April 5.

The consultation document was approved in public-exclusion on Wednesday.

A council spokesperson said the proposed rates rise takes into account high levels of inflation, interest and insurance costs, along with core operational investment in roading and maintaining current levels of water investment.

Acting Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter said following months of planning with both council officers and councillors, “we have landed here after balancing the needs of South Wairarapa communities and the affordability of rates and ensuring we maintain critical operational roading and water investment”.

“These networks remain our largest expenditure at almost half of our yearly operating costs,” Sadler-Futter said.

“While we acknowledge that 15.3 per cent is not what our communities might want to hear, we are taking steps to catch up on years of under-investment across the district.

“Next year during our long-term planning, we will have more certainty on the future direction of water and be able to come to our communities with a clearer picture of what this means for us now and in the future.”

Consultation topics include how much SWDC should spend on operating and maintaining our water services; how SWDC should charge for water use; and how SWDC should pay for the replacement of assets.

There will be community workshops and other opportunities to engage with SWDC throughout the consultation period.

These can be found at swdc.govt.nz/enhanced-annual-plan.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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