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Rates rises on the way

Councils are signing off their rates increases. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

One Wairarapa council is set to approve a rates increase below what was proposed in its Long-Term Plan [LTP].South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC], which meets today, would be raising rates by 6.61 per cent, compared with the 8.06 per cent forecast in its LTP.

The rise came after residents copped a 29 per cent rise last year.

In the draft annual plan, South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said this triennium had been about “correctly funding and actioning essential infrastructure, and increasing delivery within council”.

“We feel we have finally set in place the foundations of a correct approach to our responsibilities.”

The draft plan said the council had “worked hard to ensure average rates increases will be lower than forecast in Year 2 of the LTP”.

“This has been an incredible challenge with inflation increasing beyond predictions.”

Carterton District Council, which meets today, was set to approve a rates rise of 5.75 per cent.

This was higher than the 4.52 per cent rise signalled in the LTP but lower than the proposed 6 per cent rise indicated when the council ran engagement earlier this year.

In the draft annual plan, Carterton Mayor Greg Lang said the rating increase would “not be welcome news”.

“I acknowledge this will cause financial strain to some households in a climate where the cost of living has continued to rise.

“Council officers have worked hard to save costs across the organisation and have already cut costs to in-person staff training and conferences, building and general maintenance, and we have reviewed our fees for regulatory and LGOIMA work.”

Masterton District Council was also meeting today and was set to approve a rates increase of 6.8 per cent.

This was higher than the 5.6 per cent increase indicated in the LTP but slightly lower than the 6.9 per cent rise signalled in engagement last month.

In the draft annual plan, Mayor Lyn Patterson and chief executive David Hopman acknowledged the challenges of the pandemic, inflation, labour market, and housing challenges.

“We are very aware of the increasing cost of living for our community and have worked hard to minimise cost increases.”

Masterton District Council meets at 3pm today, Carterton meets at 1pm, and South Wairarapa meets at 10am Thursday.– NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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