Rates capped and support package announced

2020-03-18T00:00:00

​18 March 2020

At a council meeting held today to discuss details of the 2020-21 Annual Plan, Council acted swiftly to cap a planned rates increase for Waitaki at 3.5% and allocate funds to alleviate stress posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

“We’ve taken a sharper than normal knife to it,” said Mayor for Waitaki Gary Kircher, “and I’d like to thank Councillors for supporting initiatives to save money, and council officers who stepped up to help us find a proposed solution which may alleviate pressures felt in the district due to the current situation. People need to be aware this is still just a draft, it will be put out for public consultation, dates to be confirmed.”

“The Councillors have worked through the options for the coming year and made cuts which will help financially but generally not affect the delivery of services that the public expect. We have utilised non-rates funds where possible, such as the dividend from Whitestone Contracting, to offset some of the other activities that we have determined are important to continue. We would have preferred to see the increase cut even further but recognise the responsibility we have to deliver resilient services across the whole Waitaki District. The result is the proposed 3.5% increase which we will be seeking feedback on, and which we will continue to look at over the next three months before the final Annual Plan is confirmed.”

“Most importantly, we have allocated up to $2m from Council’s disaster fund to allow us to bring forward certain projects and to possibly introduce some other projects which will help provide work for some people affected by the COVID-19 fallout. This is an extremely difficult time for some of our most vulnerable people, and while it is great to see the government’s response, we want to make sure that we are ready to help those who may fall through the gaps. It is so important that we look out for each other, and I want to ensure we do that from both health and financial perspectives.”

Further details will be made available.​

Page reviewed: 31 Mar 2020 8:26am