Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the questions you might have about our Long-Term Plan consultation. If your question isn’t here, you can reach out to us by emailing or giving us a call on (06) 349 0001. 

Q: What are considered essential services provided by councils?

A: Essential council services are those that are important for maintaining public health, safety, and infrastructure within the community. These typically include:

  • Road maintenance and repair

  • Water supply and treatment

  • Wastewater management

  • Public transportation infrastructure

  • Emergency and civil defence

  • Animal control and welfare services

  • Building and land-use regulation and planning


Q: Why are rates increasing?

A: Rates are increasing because of the increasing costs of inflation, insurance and interest rates across the country. This means that the cost of providing essential services, maintaining infrastructure, and meeting regulatory requirements is rising. We want to continue offering our community both essential and future-focused services but to do that, we need to increase rates. 

We are also introducing a kerbside recycling service from 1 July 2024 for residential properties. 

You can look at the proposed rates for 2024/25 for your own specific property here


Q: Why are services being cut when rates are going up?

A: Great question and it's been a difficult decision to make. The reality is that if we don't adjust our budget to cover rising costs, the cost for ratepayers would be even greater. The cuts we're proposing are intended to keep the rates increase as low as possible for our community, while still being able to deliver essential services. Cutting services generally leads to a larger immediate reduction in rates because services cannot be debt funded.


Q: How is the council managing finances responsibly?

A: We’re in the same position as almost every council around the country - faced with the increasing costs caused by inflation, insurance and interest rates. We’re doing as much as we can to find other ways to cut or cover costs so we keep things affordable for our ratepayers. We have closely reviewed all the council’s projects to identify alternative sources of funding, and to save money where we can.

Our council has comparatively low debt and over the years we’ve put good investment into maintaining assets, including our water infrastructure. This means we have a great foundation to build on to see our district prosper in the coming years. 


Q: Will rate increases be a one-time thing, or should we expect them to continue in the future?

A: While we cannot predict what will happen in the future, our aim is always to keep rates as affordable as possible. We really understand how the current economic conditions and inflation are affecting our community.


Q: What specific areas are facing service cuts?

A: We're looking at making cuts to services that are not deemed 'essential'. These are hard choices, and we want our community's feedback before any decisions are made. Within the Long-Term Plan you can see the projects and services that have been suggested as options, as well as the new projects we will no longer be moving forward with funding. While we don't want to make any cuts, we also want to make sure the cost of rates are affordable for local families.

Learn how we’re reducing services to reduce rates

Q: Why are you prioritising essential services?

A: When faced with tough budget decisions, we need to prioritise funding for services that are essential to our community’s safety. This means allocating resources to areas such as waste management, road maintenance and public safety. By focusing on essential services, we can make sure that basic needs are met even when money is tight.


Q: Can I give formal feedback on this matter? 

A: We really value your feedback and want to hear from as many people as possible. Our consultation period for the Long-Term Plan will be between 2 April and 2 May. You will have the opportunity to provide feedback on what matters most to you, which will help us shape the future of Whanganui.


Q: Why is the vision for Whanganui not included in this consultation? 

A: The council is in the process of developing a new vision for Whanganui to carry us through to 2050, however our Long-Term Plan has a number of very big decisions in it already. As updating our vision is an ongoing discussion, we didn’t want it to be lost amongst everything that’s in the Long-Term Plan. Instead, we plan to engage with the community on it later this year.  The results of our wellbeing survey can be viewed here

Read the Long-Term Plan Consultation Document(PDF, 12MB)