Kāpiti Coast District Council has adopted its latest annual report with a clear commitment to delivering good quality services to the District’s ratepayers, at the same time as reducing borrowings and working towards financial future-proofing.
Mayor K Gurunathan said the report clearly shows residents what’s been achieved on their behalf.
“We’re making sure we stay on track with our overarching long term plans and what we’ve told our residents we’ll focus on.
“That means committing to prudent but effective financial management across all of Council’s varied activities and local government responsibilities, while offering the best services we can in the right way,” the Mayor said.
“I take my hat off to all the people who’ve worked hard to meet the needs of our growing community and delivered this year’s financial and service delivery results.”
The Mayor said there’d been a number of key programmes working in partnership with the community and interacting even more on issues like plans for park and playground developments, setting local road speed limits and decision-making to allow Easter Trading.
Shaping and agreeing plans for the next 20 years through the long term plan consultation Building a stronger Kāpiti together was a significant community engagement exercise and has delivered a platform for Council to focus on sustainable growth and stormwater improvements.
Chief Executive Wayne Maxwell said the financial year had brought fresh challenges and opportunities but Council had continued its focus on delivering core services and improving its financial position.
“It’s particularly pleasing that in the same week we adopt our Annual Report our financial management rating has stepped up a notch with Standard and Poor’s putting us on a positive outlook,” he said.
“We are also doing well when it comes to our operating costs per ratepayer. The Taxpayers’ Union ratepayers report ranked our costs as the second lowest in the country earlier this year.
“We continued to see positive customer satisfaction with Council with an overall satisfaction rating of 80 per cent in the 2017/18 Resident Opinion Survey.”
Mr Maxwell acknowledged there had been some challenges in delivering aspects of Council’s services to the quality expected or to the full satisfaction of the community. Council is working to improve future delivery in those areas he said.
Meanwhile he reminded ratepayers that Council’s high debt levels had been getting plenty of attention.
A review of the entire capital works programme had seen a $7.5million reduction in planned spend, he said.
“Overall the district is in good shape and we achieved an operating surplus of $5.9 million, a significantly better outcome than the forecast $1.35 million deficit.
“This is largely the result of revenue attracted by high levels of development in the district during the financial year and a positive indicator of the District’s growth. We can be optimistic about those prospects over the next few years,” he said.
The majority of this year’s surplus would be used to pay off debt. Over the 20 years of the long term plan Council would be repaying almost $30m.
The adopted draft report, including a full financial overview, is available on the Council’s website.
Some of this year’s report highlights
- reduced capital expenditure in line with the ‘green line’ strategy to reduce Council’s debt to income ratio
- ended the year with lower than planned borrowings at 198% of operating income
- operating surplus of $5.9 million (largely due to higher development in the District)
- year-end rating surplus of $1 million
- completed approximately 90 per cent of the revised capital programme
- $23.8 million invested in capital works including:
- $7.2 million for roading and shared path network
- $3.4 million on town centres
- $2.1 million in wastewater systems
- $1.5 million in stormwater projects
- $5 million to improve outdoor spaces and leisure/recreation facilities
- Key projects completed
- Redevelopment of the Otaki pool and new community splash pad
- Kāpiti Lights Upgrade as part of the town centre transformation programme
- Progress on five-year earthquake prone building assessments – 156 building assessed
- Completion of the Youth Development Centre in partnership with Zeal
- Community and other initiatives
- Nine community organisation approved for contestable social investment funding
- 19 young people and groups awarded Kāpiti Youth Council Yout2U Dollars grants
- Nine citizenship ceremonies for 347 people
- Hosting of Waitangi Day exhibition Te Tiriti in partnership with Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti
- First ever PopUp Business School Aotearoa with WREDA and others
- Launch of Kāpiti’s first destination website kapiticoastnz.com
- Launch of Air Chathams flight schedule to Auckland