The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s 20-year plan, developed following more than a year of conversations with the local community, was adopted today.
Mayor K Gurunathan says that while it’s a pragmatic plan in terms of cautious spending, it sets out clearly the direction Kāpiti wants to head in and, following feedback, now includes additional small projects that will be welcomed by communities across the district. The programme will mean an average rates increase across the entire district of 4.8% for the coming year.
Key elements agreed today included the Council’s financial and infrastructure strategies, and the development contributions policy.
“We’ve been talking for some time now about our approach to managing our money,” says the Mayor.
“Since late last year we’ve been working to trim our programme of building and renewing major assets, so that we can work to reduce debt. We need to get onto this now so that in years to come we’re in a better financial position.”
The final development contributions policy adopted today includes changes brought about through submission feedback and discussions held since.
The policy now includes more detailed information on assumptions and development contribution calculations and also provides for a reduced development contribution levy for smaller new dwellings.
“After hearing from our Community Boards, local groups and Kapiti people through our consultation, our final plan includes a series of small initiatives that address local issues and concerns, while staying on track in terms of our financial limits.
“With all that agreed, we’re ready to publish our long term plan, and get on with delivering on key projects like our stormwater programme, water resilience upgrades, Otaraua Park, Maclean Park and the Paekākāriki seawall.
“We’ll continue to need input from our community as we progress projects on the go, and as we look at how the Council can make a difference on some of the bigger issues we’re facing together, like responding to climate change and housing challenges.
“Finally, a big shout-out to all those that have spoken with us, written to us, or joined in workshops and activities as we’ve moulded the plan. Thanks for taking the time to help make our plan one that reflects Kāpiti people.”
Full details of our long term plan will be available on our website at kapiticoast.govt.nz/long-term-plan-2018-38
BACKGROUND QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
How were the community involved in the long term plan?
The involvement of our community in our long term plan began in early 2017, with community group workshops providing direction. Wider community feedback in mid-2017 confirmed our approach and a strong theme of resilience emerged. With guidance from Kāpiti locals a draft long term plan was then developed and we shared this draft plan for feedback from our communities from 23 March to 23 April 2018.
Many people took the time to provide feedback. We received 390 written submissions, with 78 of these being from organisations, and 97 people presented their views at hearings.
Although the Council had limited scope within our financial constraints to address issues raised in feedback, councillors valued people’s input and where possible took it into account in finalising the long term plan.
What additional initiatives were added following feedback on the draft long term plan?
- Stormwater monitoring for effects on mahinga kai and Māori customary use – two year programme to be funded
- Footpaths and shared paths – we will gradually increase footpath budgets, and a decision that NZTA will fund our footpath budgets will further increase our ability to deliver on the community’s expectations and improve safety
- Kerbside waste collection – while there are no plans to re-establish a Council kerbside collection service, the Mayor will have a discussion with the community on waste management and minimisation
- Swimming lessons – through schools, we’ll arrange for spare places in existing swimming lessons to be offered to children in need
- Paekākāriki initiatives – the speed limits review planned for early 2019 will also consider options such as traffic calming. The township will be a focus of discussions with NZTA on the potential revocation of SH1 after Transmission Gully opens
- Raumati initiatives – we will investigate safety improvements and footpaths alongside the upcoming speed limit review
- Kāpiti Sports Turf – subject to the condition of the turf at the time, replacement will be brought forward to 2020/21
- Waikanae East connection – we will investigate options for a link road within the next two years
- Reikorangi Hall – funding will be reallocated to address accessibility and minor upgrades
- Ōtaki College gymnasium – subject to a suitable agreement between the Council, the College and the Ministry of Education, the Council will fund $50,000 per year for six years from 2019/20 towards the refurbishment
- Ōtaki library – feasibility of an additional toilet at the library will be investigated, with funding for installation budgeted.
How have local iwi been involved in the development of the long term plan?
From the early stages in the development of the long term plan our iwi partners, through Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, have played a role. A representative for Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti was present at many meetings and workshops where the components of the draft long term plan were discussed. Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti also provided a submission covering a number of issues, including support for a stormwater monitoring programme that focuses on the effects of stormwater discharges on mahinga kai and Māori customary use.
What’s changing in stormwater management?
We’re putting into action a new 45-year prioritised stormwater management programme that was well-supported by those that submitted on our draft proposal. Our stormwater system manages surface water run-off from properties, roads, driveways and footpaths in urban areas. The programme we’re adopting involves making improvements to publicly-owned assets, to address the risks to public and private properties.
The prioritised programme will see work focused first where there is the risk of homes experiencing stormwater flooding above floor level. In the first three years of our plan work will be underway in areas including Kenakena, Moa Road, Alexander Road and Titoki Road.
What changes are being made to the rating system?
Our updated rating system will see less of each rates bill made up of fixed charges, and more charges in proportion with a property’s capital value. It also introduces a commercially targeted rate, to fund a portion of our economic development activity.
These changes will mean lower rates increases for 2018/19 for 71% of residential ratepayers. In addition, a change to the rates remission policy will mean support for low-income households is available to more ratepayers.
Councillors revisited the detailed analysis on rating system options after hearing from people concerned about low-income ratepayers with high value homes. On balance, though, the proposed change and additional support were the best way of improving affordability across the district.
When will people see their first rates bill for 2018/19?
While the average rates increase is 4.8% across the district, the rates increase for individual ratepayers will vary depending on their property value and type. Updated proposed rates for individual properties for 2018/19 can be looked up on our website at kapiticoast.govt.nz/property-search. Invoices for the first rates instalment for 2018/19, which is due on 6 September, will be sent to ratepayers in early August.