Property Council commends the Council on the proposal to adapt and adjust the Annual Plan 2020-21 to help soften the economic impact of COVID-19 on the ratepayers, while ensuring provision of essential services and delivery of core infrastructure projects.
While we support the Annual Plan in principle, there are further changes that could be made to achieve a wider range of benefits for all in the long-term. Given the current environment of unprecedented uncertainty, we recommend:
- Adopt an average rate increase of 3.5 per cent and debt-to-revenue ratio at 239 per cent;
- Focus on core infrastructure, such as upgrades to water services and roads, as well as projects that would help boost local economy during the recovery period;
- Reinstate the public transport priority in the Strategic Framework to ensure prioritisation of public transport-related projects and supporting infrastructure;
- Continue supporting ChristchurchNZ given its role in stimulating sustainable economic growth for a more prosperous Christchurch; and
- Leverage Central Government’s building depreciation policy.