Fuseworks Media

Draft 10-year plan focuses on core infrastructure, efficiency and environment – NPDC

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom has released NPDC’s draft 10-year Plan focused on investment in core infrastructure to future-proof the district, improve efficiency, grow non-rates revenue and deliver measurable environmental performance.

Discussion on what to include in the $3 billion draft 10-year Plan 2024-2034 is the focus of the Council meeting on 12 and 13 December, as the organisation grapples with the ongoing impacts of global economic turmoil that has seen costs skyrocketing for everyone.

“We have a draft plan which we want people in New Plymouth district to read and understand. Then we want to hear what the people we serve think about our plans, what are our community’s collective priorities and aspirations and where people believe we could do better.”

Holdom said the Council’s focus is on finding the balance between the need to keep rates affordable with investment in critical infrastructure and initiatives that help keep the district on course to achieving the vision of a Sustainable Lifestyle Capital.

“The global fiscal downturn, construction inflation at record levels, interest rates rising, and the cost-of-living crisis has put huge pressure on everyone, and we have to strike the balance between rates affordability and the need to adequately maintain and grow our core infrastructure to service current and future generations.

“Council is restructuring to align our organisation with our strategy. These changes will ensure we are set up for the changes coming, can better deliver services and investments in our core infrastructure while achieving operational efficiencies of around $100m over the next 10 years.”

Based on current proposals, an average residential rate increase of 9.9% is identified in year one, and around 6.9 % in year two. But the Mayor expects that is likely to change as tough decisions are made on what’s in or out of the plan.

“We are reassessing our priorities, taking a more commercial approach by considering where can we generate more non-rates revenue, capture the benefits of growth, work in partnership with mana whenua and deliver better long-term community outcomes.”

The Mayoral recommendation for the next 10 years is built around five objectives:

Future-proofing our district:

  • Investing more in the district’s water, wastewater, stormwater and transport expenditure to almost $1.9billion.
  • Identify a route for a ring road to the port to get trucks out of town.
  • Find new water sources for our growing population.
  • Planning a second crossing over the Waiwhakaiho River to improve our resilience.
  • Ramp up investment in the district’s disaster recovery reserve to help cover the costs of dealing with climate change and severe weather events.
  • Lifting investment in Venture Taranaki to diversify and strengthen Taranaki’s economy.

Efficiency

  • Establish a Taranaki water entity with neighbouring councils.
  • Restructuring our operations to maximise value for money and save $100m.
  • Ensure developers pay their fair share of infrastructure costs.

Community development

  • Growing council’s provision of social housing, boosted by a multimillion-dollar housing development fund.
  • Supporting Iwi and hapu with capability as a partner, helping speed up consent processing and improving the quality of development in our district.
  • Boosting funding to community boards to enable local decision making in Kaitaki, Inglewood, Bell Block, Waitara and Clifton.

Sustainability

  • Wastewater project Urenui and Onaero to clean up our waterways.
  • Tackle sewage overflows in Inglewood.
  • Deal with flooding in Waitara.
  • Plant our place and tap into the emissions trading scheme.
  • Piloting a high frequency city bus route to grow public transport utilisation.

Paying something forward

  • Building a multisport facility at the racecourse.
  • Working with the Taranaki Foundation and businesses on Destination Play at Kawaroa and Otupaiia Marine Park Waitara.
  • Finding new revenue sources to reduce costs.
  • Establishing a sustainable lifestyle capital savings fund over the next decade by reinvesting a proportion of the dividends from the perpetual investment fund into a reserve to cover future infrastructure costs.

A copy of the agenda is available on the council’s website.

Timeline:

12 December 2023

Mayor and Councillors to make interim decisions on draft 10-Year Plan 2023-2024.

February 2024

Mayor and Councillors will adopt the draft consultation document and go out for public consultation.

March 2024

Public feedback sought on draft 10-Year Plan 2024-2034.

June 2024

Mayor and Councillors adopt final plan.

Financial Fast Facts:

NPDC has $4.1b in assets and a $3b budget over the next 10 years. 

Capital expenditure in 2023/2024 $135m 

Operational expenditure 2023/2024 $215m 

Perpetual Investment Fund – $350m

Current rating from S&P Global Credit AA+

 

Powered by Fuseworks and Truescope - Media monitoring, insights and news distribution for New Zealand organisations.