The rules about community consultation on long term plans have changed. This is the first year Councils are putting out a special document designed purely for consultation. Not surprisingly, this is called the Long Term Plan consultation document. You can view the document we consulted on by clicking here. Council follows particular rules in the Local Government Act for its long term planning. These rules include the year we must adopt the long term plan (all councils adopt in the same year), how we manage our consultation and the type of information that is provided to you. The process we follow is audited before we start our consultation and again before we adopt the plan. Many people who are not familiar with these rules have thought it's a bit ridiculous that Councils have a ten year plan that gets re-done every three years. "Why not call it the three year plan?" they ask. Perhaps it's partly for that reason that Councils have preferred to call these plans 'long term plans' instead of 'ten year plans.' The reason we do a long term plan every three years, is to adapt to significant changes in our circumstances. These can come from our own updated information, changes in external factors and in response to community needs. The reason we still use a ten-year timeline is because in looking ahead 10 years the Council must consider the impact of short term decisions on future rates, and the future condition of our services and assets. The Council is responsible for being good stewards of the many assets owned by the Council and to ensure those assets are available for future generations. The long term plan is based on assumptions about: our economy in the future – likely growth rates, inflation and interest rates the district going forward – population changes, land use changes the services we deliver – when the renewing of assets is required, impact from recent legislation All these factors affect the council’s financial situation and the rates that you pay.