Advocacy in a Nutshell | May 2018

Welcome to the May edition of Advocacy in a Nutshell; the latest update from our advocacy team, featuring all of the projects, policy and issues that matter to you.

To spice things up a little, this month we're giving an overview of our recent Long-term Plan (LTP) submissions:

Please note that the Wellington City Council Long-term Plan submission is due on 11 May so is not included below.

Enjoy.


Long-term Plan Submissions

Our advocacy team have been working overtime the past couple of months, reading and evaluating regional LTP's and working with members in each Branch to formulate our submissions and ensure we oppose that which needs opposition and support those initiatives that need supporting.

LTP and regional plan submissions for 2018 are as follows:

Auckland

Auckland Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council has reviewed Auckland Council’s Long-term Plan 2018/28 (LTP) and supporting documentation. We are generally happy with the approach of the Long-term plan 10 year budget. In particular we support the regional fuel tax as an innovative way to fund the infrastructure Auckland needs. We also support reducing the business differential and propose accelerating it. However, we noted concern about the lack of a draft development contributions policy for consideration alongside the LTP budget. 

Note: Auckland Council has recently released its development contributions policy for consultation.  Property Council is working with members on a submission.


Waikato

Hamilton City Council Development Contributions Policy 2018/2028

Property Council opposes most of HCC’s development contributions proposed amendments. The development contributions policy proposes a significant increase in costs for developers and if they stand, would likely see a decrease in development in Hamilton. We wish to work with HCC in discussing our proposed amendments to the development contributions policy and support alternative funding mechanisms as an alternative means of funding and supporting growth in Hamilton.

 

Hamilton City Council 10-Year Plan

Property Council is generally supportive of the 10-Year Plan. However, we are concerned about HCC's current financial situation, borrowing $10 million per year to cover costs over the last five years. This is the result of poor management of short and long-term costs and predicted growth. We feel that we have no other choice than to support a rate increase as necessary to pay for and deliver everyday costs. We oppose HCC's preferred rating system - option six, as this continues the current operational debt for another year. Instead, we support a modified option five which would introduce a stepped transition to the capital value rating system by capping rate increases so that properties' rates payments do not increase by more than 20% in any one year.

 

Waipa District Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council in general supports Waipa District Council's 10-Year Plan consultation document. We recognise the need to plan for growth in Waikato while closely monitoring the outcomes of growth. We urge Waipa District Council to retain the current loan-fund of interest and inflation costs on development contributions to create an incentive for developers and maintain a competitive edge with neighbouring areas.

 

Waikato District Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council in general supports the Waikato District Council’s proposed Long-term Plan.

We urge the Council to enter discussions with Government and Waikato's other councils to align future strategic growth goals.


Bay of Plenty

Tauranga City Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council has concerns about Tauranga City Council’s Long Term Plan proposals. We recognise the need to plan for growth in Tauranga however, we believe that alternative funding methods for infrastructure and targeted rates are better placed to do so than the proposed rates differential.
 
We strongly oppose the rating proposal to reduce the UAGC and introduce a rates differential. The commercial sector will effectively pay 1:1.8 when considering the economic development rate on top of the proposed 1.6 rates differential. This will have negative outcomes for Tauranga’s commercial sector and the Council’s Heart of the City project to rejuvenate the CBD. The flow on effects from a rates differential will also affect Tauranga’s residents in the form of increased consumer costs, reduced vibrancy and choice of commercial options in the CBD and potentially loss of employment.
 
 

Rotorua Lakes Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council is generally supportive of Rotorua Lakes Council’s Long-term Plan consultation document. We recognise the need to plan for growth in Rotorua while restoring current assets to an acceptable and safe level for communities.

Property Council supports the following proposals:
  • Re-develop the Aquatic Centre to fix the leak, re-roof the indoor pool, re-design the reception and changing rooms and add more play structures;
  • Re-develop and maintain important assets such as The Aquatic Centre, Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre and International Stadium; and
  • An evidence-based renewal programme to increase the condition of Council assets (as the majority of assets have been identified as average or poor quality).
Property Council opposes the following proposals:
  • The introduction of a UDA which is funded by ratepayers. We believe the operations of UDAs should work within commercial disciplines.
  • Reversing the 2015 Long-term Plan decision to reduce rates differentials to one.  The Property Council recommends the adoption of option two: that Council continue its strategy of moving all differentials towards one.

Christchurch City Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council has reviewed Christchurch City Council’s Long-term Plan 2018/28 and supporting documentation (“LTP”). We are generally happy with the approach of the LTP. However, we are concerned about the lack of draft development contributions policy for consideration.
 
 
 

Queenstown Lakes District Council Long-term Plan 2018/2028

Property Council has reviewed Queenstown Lakes District Council's Long-term Plan 2018/28 and supporting documentation (“LTP”). We have concerns with the Council's approach and believe the LTP does not adequately address the regions growth challenges in an equitable and sustainable way.  Suggestions to help meet these challenges have been made.
 
 

Authors | Jane Budge & Katherine Wilson

As Property Council New Zealand's Senior Advocacy Advisors, Jane and Katherine are our resident experts on all things policy.

Jane has a wealth of experience, having worked in senior policy advisory roles at both local and central government level, as well as four years with the New Zealand Police where she was responsible for the road policy strategy and policy development. Jane looks after all advocacy projects for the South Island and Auckland branches, also supporting Matt Paterson with our national advocacy projects.

With a degree in law and arts from Otago University, coupled with five years' experience as a policy analyst and advocacy advisor at Auckland Council and the Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce, Katherine is perfectly placed to support the advocacy needs of the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Wellington branches, as well as supporting our advocacy work at a national level.

Get in touch with Jane.

Get in touch with Katherine.

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