Property Council New Zealand’s Central Regional Executive welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on Hamilton City Council’s Long-term Plan 2021-31.
Why is it important to our members?
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 Hamilton for the better. These include amendments to the Development Contribution Policy, alternative methods to fund water services and District Plan changes; as well as alternative options for rates increases.
What is our position?
While we support an overall direction of the draft Long-term Plan, particularly around the capital programme, we have made a list of recommendations to influence better and fairer outcomes for all, including the following:
Approach to 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.