Mayor Nadine Taylor said the last financial year had been challenging, mainly due to the ongoing impacts of severe weather events and inflation.
In presenting the annual report for 2022-2023 to Council, the Mayor said ratepayers faced an estimated $234m roading repair bill arising from heavy rainfall events in July 2021 and August 2022.
“The rainfall and slips caused more than 4,000 faults to our roading network with 32 properties red stickered and 59 yellow,” she said. “The damage left many Sounds residents with limited or no access for prolonged periods.”
Council’s Rivers team was a third of the way through a $14m repair programme to the Wairau flood protection scheme following the damage, Mayor Taylor said.
“Successive damage to the stop bank network put a strain on the supply of armour grade rock resulting in the acceleration of the redevelopment of our Pukaka Quarry near Rarangi.”
The highlight of the year was opening Te Kahu o Waipuna.
“The new facility has experienced major growth with almost three times as many people visiting each day compared to the old building,” she said. “It’s been wonderful to see how people are using the facilities – people are gathering, reading and chatting and using the new technology and meeting rooms.”
Mayor Taylor said water supply improvements continued with the construction of new treatment plants in Renwick and Wairau Valley and assessments were underway to progress new plants at Havelock and Riverlands.
She noted the waste management system was about to change with a new and expanded wheelie bin collection service starting on 1 July 2024.
Excellent progress had been made finalising the Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan and public consultation had begun on the community’s vision and values for freshwater, part of the Government’s Essential Freshwater package.
Te Hoiere Kaitiaki Charitable Trust, Council’s Catchment Care Programme and the Hill Country Erosion programme had continued their great work with many thousands of trees planted.
This year’s resident survey had shown an increase to 66 per cent satisfaction, up from 62 per cent in 2022.
“Despite the negative impacts of inflation and extreme weather, Council fared reasonably well with a satisfaction rating ahead of the New Zealand council benchmark,” Mayor Taylor said.
“Thank you to all who have contributed to our work this year – it’s a team effort that allows Marlborough to punch well above its weight, in a province we can all be extremely proud of.”
The annual report will be posted on the Council website – go to: www.marlborough.govt.nz