With Long-term Plan (LTP) season coming to a close, Property Council’s advocacy team is in the final throes of submitting on the draft LTPs for Tauranga and Wellington, with submissions for Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua already under their belt.
The Long-term Plan sets Council’s budget for the next 10 years. Our members are rate payers and wish to provide input on how the budget can shape their city for the better. These include amendments to the Development Contribution Policies, alternative methods to fund water services and District Plan changes; as well as alternative options for rates increases.
Today, we thought we’d give you a brief summary of each submission:
Auckland Council LTP 2021-31
Property Council was supportive of Auckland Council’s draft Long-Term Plan in principle, but recommended the following to ensure better and fairer outcomes for all:
- Ensure that the ‘double-dipping’ issue does not occur when using special purpose vehicles enabled through the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Act 2020;
- Consider alternative options for the stated rates increase:
- increase rates in 2022/23;
- split the increase over four years and then return to the current levels post this.
- Adopt Option 1 (Moderately accelerate climate action) as a climate change response;
- Adopt Option 1 (Focus Strategy) as the Council’s response to housing and growth;
- Extend the City Centre Targeted rate to 2030/2031 to coincide with the end date of the Long-Term Plan, with a review taking place every three or six years to align with the Long-Term Plan schedule.
Hamilton City Council LTP 2021-31
While we supported the overall direction of Hamilton City Coucnil’s draft Long-term Plan, particularly around the capital programme, we did provide a list of recommendations to influence better and fairer outcomes for all, including:
A fairer approach to the development of the LTP
- Ensure future Council’s consultations do not include extensive public holidays to allow a full one month to provide feedback as required by the Local Government Act 2002;
- Consider alternative funding tools, such as user charges, targeted rates, public-private partnership, asset recycling and special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”) to successfully deliver the CAPEX programme;
- Consider alternative methods to fund water services and District Plan changes (e.g. the IFF Act; Government regional allocation of three waters funds for councils);
- Consider alternative options for the stated rates increase to ease the funding burden on ratepayers in the post-COVID-19 recovery:
- increase rates in 2022/23;
- split the increase over four years and then return post this.
Growth Funding Policy
- We consider the Growth Funding Policy as an unnecessary impediment to development, and should be discontinued;
Development Contribution Policy
- Make sure the Urban Design Panel plays its role in ensuring good quality design outcomes following the CBD Remission amendment to encourage the development of six or more storeys buildings in the CBD;
- Improve the Council’s existing consenting process to ensure it does not discourage intensification in the CBD;
- Do not include community infrastructure into Development Contribution (“DC”) fees and consider alternatives tools, such as rates, targeted rates, SPVs;
- Amend the proposal for the phased transition to higher DC charges to exclude an option for the Council to amend changes at any time;
- Review the DC policy to include the industrial sector given its role in driving business to Hamilton.
Rotorua Lakes District Council LTP 2021-31
We made several recommendations to Rotorua Lakes District Council with regards to their Long-term Plan 2021-31, including:
- Consider alternative options for the stated rates increase to ease the funding burden on ratepayers in the post-COVID-19 recovery
- Maintain the Uniform Annual General Charge (“UAGC”) as it currently stands
- Consider alternative funding tools, such as user charges, targeted rates, public-private partnership, asset recycling and special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”)and asset recycling to successfully deliver the CAPEX programme
- Explore alternative funding tools, including targeted rates, public-private partnerships(“PPPs”), special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”), asset recycling to ensure there is no burden on ratepayers to cover the costs and to successfully deliver the CAPEX programme
- Take on more debt to help deliver the CAPEX programme, while keeping rates, fees and charges at a reasonable level
- Continue working with Property Council to develop the Development Contribution Policy to ensure fairness and equity of charges for all.
Christchurch City Council LTP 2021-31
Property Council was generally supportive of the Christchurch City Council’s Long Term Plan 2021-2031 and made the following recommendations:
- Investigate alternative funding and fundraising mechanisms to curb unnecessarily high rates increases in the future;
- No reduction to investment currently planned, and consideration of increasing the funding to ChristchurchNZ;
- Amending the water infrastructure proposal to include consideration of the Three Waters reform work programme;
- Investigate incentive structures to encourage more Cantabrians to use public transport in line with the recommendations to reduce emissions;
- Further rationalisation of services to increase efficiencies and benefits at community facilities; and
- Consideration of further disposals if they do not meet the requirements the Christchurch City Council expects of council-owned assets.
Contact | Denise Lee
Bringing a fresh perspective and strong political nous, Denise is well-known as the former New Zealand Member of Parliament (MP) for the Maungakiekie electorate and a former Auckland Councillor for Maungakiekie-Tāmaki.
Denise holds a BA in Political Studies and History and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Theology, with specific skills in engagement and a natural ability to build rapport with stakeholders. Personable and warm, Denise’s exceptional strategic planning, communication and management skills are highly valued by both the Property Council team and its members.