Horizons Annual Plan consultation opens

Consultation for Horizons Regional Council’s proposed 2019-29 Annual Plan opens today, with the public invited to have their say before 25 March. 

The proposed Annual Plan sets out how Council intends to manage the region’s land, air and water resources over the next year. This includes planned work programmes and activities and what rate contributions will be required to help cover the proposed cost.

Horizons chair Bruce Gordon says last year Council embarked on a very comprehensive Long-term Plan for 2018-28, which detailed a 4.72 per cent average rate increase for Year 2 (2019-20).

“While we are proposing to maintain the planned rate increase, we have had some unexpected costs arise - including a $300,000 increase in insurance expenses which we will cover through a few changes to our programmes of work for this upcoming year.”

Mr Gordon says it’s important to note that rates will differ district by district due to factors such as property valuations and targeted rates for programmes such as river management schemes and passenger transport.

“We appreciate that any rate increase isn’t ideal and that is why we have compiled a consultation document to help highlight what some of the key items are for 2019-20. Predominately planned work for Year 2 is business as usual with minimal increase in costs, however we are proposing to make some rating changes to the Haunui, Foxton and Makirikiri river management schemes.”

Mr Gordon says in addition to the consultation document sent to all households in the region, those affected by these proposed rating changes have been sent direct mail with further information.

“We are also holding a drop in session for Foxton ratepayers on Monday 11 March at 1.30pm. This was originally planned to take place in Levin and has since been changed to Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton.”

Submissions to Horizons 2019-20 Annual Plan close on 25 March 2019. The consultation document and further supporting documentation is available online and from Horizons’ service centres. Submission forms are also available online and will be delivered to letterboxes throughout the region this week.