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Whakatane District Council Annual Plan 2019/20 adopted
2 July 2019
Whakatane District Council Annual Plan 2019/20 adopted
Whakatāne District Council has adopted its Annual Plan for 2019/20, and resolved its rates charges for the coming year.
A report setting out the key changes from the draft Annual Plan was received at an Extraordinary Council meeting on Thursday, 27 June. It confirmed a 4.11 percent increase in the District's average rates requirement for the year. This figure had decreased slightly from the 4.16 percent proposed in the Annual Plan Consultation Document.
Whakatāne District Mayor Tony Bonne says Councillors and staff have worked hard to incorporate a number of changes to the work programmes projected in the Long Term Plan 2018-28.
"There's always a balance to be attained between affordability and the need to improve community services and infrastructure," he says. "Council has endeavoured to maximise Central Government co-investment opportunities that are currently available, while also being responsive to future changes from Central Government, particularly in the water and wastewater space."
Alongside the eight key changes proposed through the Annual Plan Consultation Document, the final series of changes adopted in the Annual Plan included:
  • A budget increase for expenditure from the Harbour Fund for costs associated with the town regeneration project and downtown Whakatāne property investments 
  • The Whakatāne Town Regeneration proposal (a $250,000 contribution from general rates and $200,000 from the Harbour Fund);
  • Earthquake strengthening of the Whakatāne District War Memorial Hall ($550,000 to be loan-funded and repaid  through general rates);
  • Implementing a managed retreat from the debris flow hazard on the Awatarariki Stream fanhead at Matatā (subject to the Government and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council each meeting one-third of the $15.06 million project cost); and
  • Responding to additional funding of $438,000 required for water and wastewater service costs.
  • Funding of $100,000 to progress the next steps for integrated wastewater approaches
  • Approval for $60,000 to address firefighting capability for Melville Drive
  • A commitment of $30,000 to support key community development initiatives across the District
  • Changes to Council's Fees and Charges with minor impacts on charges for trade waste, building warrant of fitness renewal, restricted reserve access and the Edgecumbe Hall
  • Confirmation of financial support from Central Government is still pending for both the Safe Roads Alliance for safety improvements on Wainui Road, and the Awatarariki managed retreat programme.
The first rates instalment for the year will be due on Friday, 23 August.   
A 2.5 percent discount is available if the full year's rates are paid by the first instalment due date. Payments can be made online, by credit card, by setting up a direct debit, by mail, or by calling into the Council Civic Centre in Whakatāne or the Murupara Library and Service Centre.