Council adopts 2021-22 Annual Plan and Long-Term Plan amendment

Published on July 01, 2022

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On Wednesday, 29 June Whanganui District councillors formally adopted the coming year’s Annual Plan and an amended Long-Term Plan for 2021-2031.

Mayor Hamish McDouall says he’s pleased the council has been able to keep this year’s average rates increase in line with what was indicated last year, at 3.9 percent.

He says, “This rates rise is one of the lowest in the country. We’re aware many people in our community are facing cost-of-living pressures at this time, and with the general rate of inflation nearing 7 percent, council staff have worked hard to keep the rates rise down.”

Chief Executive, David Langford says, “The council is working hard on its core projects, to make our district an even better place to live. We’re thinking about a wide range of people in our community, be it our tamariki, rangatahi, whānau or more senior members of our community.”

He says the council is working to improve recreation opportunities for residents. “This year we’re enhancing accessibility and equipment options at the Splash Centre so people of all abilities can enjoy the facility, work is underway on exploring a low-cost track replacement for the Velodrome cycling track and funding has been set aside for design work for an extension to the Davis Library.

“Pukenamu Queen’s Park is home to many of our important cultural icons,” he says. “And design work will soon be underway for a refreshed architectural landscape plan to improve wayfinding and ensure this historical site reflects the significance it holds for hapū, iwi and the whole community.”

Mayor Hamish says looking after the environment continues to be a major focus for the council. “We’re working on a coastal action plan with our community to ensure that our treasured coast is protected and enhanced in the coming years. In conjunction with Horizons Regional Council, we’ll also be launching a high-frequency bus trial along the Spine route between Castlecliff and Aramoho in early 2023 to improve public transport in Whanganui.”

Work this year will also commence on repairing the Aramoho Rail Bridge pedestrian walkway project which connects Aramoho and Whanganui East. This includes a new composite 2.5 metre-wide pathway to meet the pathway safety standard.

Investment in connecting Whanganui to other regions continues next year with activity at the airport focusing on the construction of a parallel taxiway, to improve the safety of aircraft operations, and the resurfacing of the main runway. At the port, the focus for the year will be on construction and engagement around public resource consent for dredging, reclamation work and works to the South Mole.

A key inclusion in the amended Long-Term Plan is the introduction of kerbside recycling from mid-2023 and a kerbside food waste collection from mid-2024 for households in the Whanganui urban area and Fordell, Marybank and Mowhanau villages.

Mayor Hamish says this was a major milestone to have achieved this year and “it was about time it happened.”

“Central government has signaled it will require all councils to have a kerbside food waste collection in the near future,” he says. “So we’re getting ahead of the game and making our contribution to climate change.”

David Langford says, “During the next year we’ll be doing the background work to get these services ready to deliver and the targeted rate for these services will start from mid-2023.”

He says, “We were pleased to be able to lower the proposed targeted rate for the new services by 20 percent, after listening carefully to community concerns on cost during consultation and accessing higher waste levy funding.”

Mayor McDouall says, “Through this year’s annual plan process we have balanced the desire to keep rates low with our obligation to improve infrastructure and facilities, look after the environment and support our district to develop and grow. Whanganui is thriving, despite the challenges that have come our way in recent times.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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