Rates increase of 10.6% proposed for Whanganui district

Published on 27 March 2024

Durie Hill lights

Whanganui District Councillors have adopted the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan consultation document in preparation for community consultation in April. This includes a proposed average rate increase for the 2024/2025 year (from 1 July 2024) of 10.6 percent.

Community consultation on the draft Long-Term Plan will open for a month from Tuesday, 2 April until Thursday, 2 May 2024 during which time the community is invited to provide feedback on which long-term investments should be prioritised and which services the council should cut, reduce or retain in order to keep rates affordable.

Mayor Andrew Tripe says many households are facing unrelenting cost-of-living pressures and councils across the country are strained as well due to significant cost escalations caused by inflation, interest and insurance rate hikes.

“In response to these difficult times, we’ve come up with a six-point plan which involves growing Whanganui’s population, improving efficiency, looking for alternative funding for projects, cutting council services, selling assets to repay debt and identifying sources of non-rates revenue.”

He says the council was initially facing an average residential rate rise of 17 percent, but has worked hard to bring this down to the proposed 10.6 percent average increase. This works out to an extra $8.50 a week for the average residential household.

“This draft plan very much reflects the times we find ourselves in and it is so important that we hear from the community on what they would like us to prioritise,” Mayor Andrew says. “To get to 10.6 percent, we will need to make changes to service levels. The key question we will be asking you, the community, is what changes you want us to make to keep rates as low as possible.

“While we’re looking at where we can cut costs, in times like this it’s as important as ever to ensure that we have our eye on the big picture and that we are aspirational about the future of our district for the benefit of current and future generations.  The balance between affordability and aspiration is the challenge and opportunity with this long-term plan.”

Mayor Andrew says elected members are looking forward to receiving feedback on the long-term plan so they can hear the priorities of the community.

Formal consultation on the 2024-34 Long-term Plan will open on Tuesday, 2 April. All information, including the consultation document and submission form, will be available at https://www.whanganui.govt.nz/Your-Council/Have-Your-Say


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