Four years of rates rises planned for city
Bumper rates increases are on the cards for Porirua, with annual rises of more than 5 per cent proposed for the next four years.
Porirua City Council will mull over public feedback on the financial strategy as part of its draft Long-Term Plan 2018-2038 process, with a final decision to be made in June.
The proposed 5.25 per cent average increase consists of a 1.03 per cent general increase, a 2.27 per cent increase for infrastructure and a 1.95 per cent increase to balance the budget.
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said a significant challenge facing the city was its water infrastructure.
The Long-Term Plan document showed that although the stormwater network was in pretty good condition, it was over capacity.
This, along with the wastewater service being in poor condition, meant heavy rain caused flooding and health risks, which could get worse with climate change.
‘‘This council’s working hard on keeping that spending down, [but] we need to invest in that infrastructure.’’
The council was also working with Wellington Water to improve the resiliency of the city’s water supply. It is planning to increase capacity with new and upgraded reservoirs in Elsdon, Aotea and Whitby.
Over the first 10 years of the plan, the council is proposing to spend $337.9 million on capital, 32 per cent of which will involve wastewater, stormwater and water supply.
The other significant expenditure involved roading, particularly the link roads and the anticipated growth from the Transmission Gully motorway.
Tana said balancing the council’s budget by 2021/2022 was a priority established in the last Long-Term Plan, and previous rating for depreciation had been insufficient. ‘‘The proposed 5.25 per cent is only a proposal, but the majority of this is trying to balance the budget and [cover] depreciation,’’ he said.
‘‘Part of this is to manage the issues that were before this current council, and keep rates low. At the end of four years, I think the average rates [increase] will drop.’’
Roy Baker, the council’s manager of corporate services, pointed out it had already achieved lower proposed increases than in the 2015 LongTerm Plan. ‘‘Rates in Porirua are higher than other councils in the region because there are about 18,800 ratepayers paying for services and infrastructure for 55,600 people.’’
About 70 percent of the council’s income comes from rates, he said.
Porirua City Council’s stormwater infrastructure is in pretty good condition, but under capacity.