Our plan is locked in: We’re tackling our big challenges head on

Published on 27 June 2024

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Our Council has committed to investing $744.7 million in roading, water services, coastal protection and other essential assets, facilities and services in the Coromandel over the next 10 years. 

At their on Thursday 27 June, our Council adopted its 2024-2034 Long Term Plan (LTP), locking in our district’s budgets, projects and services over the coming decade, and adopting our key strategic and policy documents, and our 2025/25 Schedule of Fees and Charges. 

“This is a huge milestone, and one we can all be proud of,” says our Mayor Len Salt. “A huge thank you to everyone who took time to share their thoughts, support and concerns with us during the feedback process.  

“There were many great ideas and strong proposals and ideally, we’d be able to financially support them all. We’ve decided to add a small number of projects to our original proposals, but we’ve also looked at what we can remove from the first year of our plan to offset that.”   

What are the major challenges ahead? 

To address the important issues, we’ve had to prioritise the essentials.  

This LTP addresses problems that are also being faced around the country and overseas. It includes things like maintaining and investing more on ageing infrastructure, including vulnerable roading networks - as well as dealing with the impacts of climate change. That’s while also trying to build resilience and prevent social isolation. 

This work involves some big and costly projects that are critical for our communities - and just can’t be deferred to the future. 

That’s why we’ve had to make the tough decision not to include many important, but optional, projects and requests. 

We don’t want to have to increase rates more than we absolutely have to, or over-promise on what we can afford to deliver. 

What are my rates for the 2024/25 financial year? 

As a result of adding some projects to our plan, our forecast rates are increasing slightly more than we originally proposed over the next 10 years. Our average total rates increase for the first financial year of this LTP (2024/25) has increased to 13.2 per cent from the 12.9 per cent we proposed in our consultation document. On average, rates will increase by $509 a year – that’s just under $10 extra per week.  

This is just an average, and increases will vary, depending on where you live, the type and value of your property, and the services you receive.  

From mid-July onwards, you’ll be able to visit our website and check your individual property rates using our Online Rating Information Database. Some of our ratepayers on low incomes may also be eligible for a rates rebate discount

Key works projects around our district 

The largest portion of spending on physical works (known as capex) has been provided for roading, with $245.4 million budgeted over the next 10 years to repair and improve our roads. We’ve also budgeted $92.7 million coastal protection works around the district over the coming decade.  To date, we’ve spent a lot on major infrastructure projects on the Eastern Seaboard and in the next 10 years we will see a greater focus on the Western Seaboard. 

Click here to see some of the projects ahead for our communities

  • Whangamatā Stormwater improvement: $9.2 million from 2024/25 to 2029/30.
  • Whangamatā Hetherington Road Rising Main: $2.5 million from 2024/25 to 2029/30
  • Whitianga Refuse Station: $11.5 million from 2024/25 to 2025/26.
  • Whitianga Esplanade waterfront redevelopment: $12.5 million from 2027/28 to 2029/30.
  • Pāuanui additional treated water reservoir: $1.6 million from 2027/28 to 2029/30.
  • Pāuanui wastewater treatment plant odour control: $2 million in 2024/25.
  • Tairua Esplanade renewal: $259,000 in 2027/28.
  • Hāhei wastewater extension: $3.3 million from 2027/28 to 2033/34.
  • Matarangi Treatment Plant upgrade: $22 million from 2024/25 to 2030/31.
  • Coromandel Wharf renewal: $5.3 million in 2028/29.
  • Coromandel Bypass: $37.2 million from 2026/27 to 2028/29. This is fully funded by Crown Infrastructure.
  • Thames coastal protection: $78.2 million from 2027/28 to 2030/31. Funding is still being tied down for this project, and we’ll focus on seeking funding from external sources.
  • Thames South water improvements and Pūriri water treatment plant: $19.5 million from 2024/25 to 2027/28.
  • Thames Aquatic Facility: $39.9 million from 2024/25 to 2028/29.

What key decisions did we make on our ‘big five’ proposals in our consultation document?

Key Decision One – Managing the rates spike

We’ve looked at ways we can ease the rates increase in the first year. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 2 – to spread the rates increases over two years.

Key Decision Two – Investing in future planning

We asked whether we should invest more money so we can proactively and strategically invest in planning programmes to manage our district’s growth effectively. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 1 – to invest more in proactive planning for the future.

Key Decision Three – Investing in Connected Communities

After the impact of last year’s cyclones and weather events, we asked if we should invest more to ensure our communities are connected and resilient. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 2 – to carry on the work it started through the cyclone recovery programme but funding it ourselves through rates from year 2 (July 2025 onwards).

Key Decision Four – Increasing fees and charges to keep rates manageable

We proposed to increase fees to keep up with our other rising costs, including inflation. Our Council decided to proceed with its preferred option 1 – to increase its revenue from fees and charges by 3% overall.

Key Decision Five – The future of the Thames Council building

Our main Council offices in Thames don’t meet current health, safety and earthquake standards for staff and visitors who use them. We decided to investigate a leasehold arrangement based on public feedback we received – an option that wasn’t included in the proposals in our draft LTP. We’ll report back on our investigations by December 2024, and defer a final decision on the future of our Thames Council offices until then.

Fees & Charges

  • Increases for dog registration fees and other health licences have already been put into effect and people notified in writing.
  • On 1 July 2024, boat ramp pass fees will increase $2 per day for boat launching only, and $3 per day for the Boat Launching and Parking combo. The Annual Pass Boat launching only pass fee increases to $50. There is no change to the Annual Pass Boat launching and parking combo rate of $115 per year.

More information 

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