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NZTA slash funds to council roading

Roadworks being carried out in South Wairarapa earlier this year. PHOTO/FILE

 

MARCUS ANSELM

[email protected]

Rates rises and risks to Wairarapa’s council roading services could be on the cards following revelations of a funding slash by the national transport agency.

A report to a Carterton District Council [CDC] committee yesterday [Wednesday September 9] showed district council income would be lowered by imminent cash cuts by the New Zealand Transport Agency [NZTA].

The agency has determined Wairarapa’s districts councils would lose out on current levels for its 2021-2024 funding round.

A paper by CDC chief executive Jane Davis said the council could see a two per cent trim of money from NZTA over the next three years.

That amounts to annual revenue of about $72,000 for CDC, the report said.

“While the amount is not large, rates-funding the difference equates to an increase of around 0.5 per cent in total rates.”

All Wairarapa’s councils would need to take the cuts into consideration with likely consequences for services or rates.

Masterton District Council stands to suffer a one per cent cut to its handout over three years.

In Masterton the cut would mean finding an extra $125,000 from rates.

That translates to 0.38 per cent rates increase average, but a 1.18 per cent increase on rural rates, based on the existing allocation of rates required for roading.

This sees rural roads carry a greater share.

South Wairarapa District Council would also see a one per cent cut by the end of the next three-year cycle.

At its infrastructure committee meeting yesterday [Wednesday September 9], CDC elected officials and staff discussed the impact.

Davis’ report said NZTA calculated the cuts from a number of measures, including the national deprivation index.

Committee chair Russell Keys said, “while it’s horrible for us to lose something, I can kind of understand that it reduces from us to give others a little bit more.

“In the long run, it’s good for the country.”

Districts and regions set to see their funding levels increase include Far North, Waitomo, Buller, Westland, and Clutha.

The impact would start to be felt on roading and footpath works from 2022-23 financial year, according to the report.

-NZLDR

 

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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