South Wairarapa District Council opts for Enhanced Annual Plan for 2024/25

South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) has deferred the adoption of the 2024-34 Long-term Plan (LTP) and will instead produce an Enhanced Annual Plan for 2024/25, with Council receiving the recommendation by Council officers at the 21 February Council meeting. 

Following the Central Government election in October last year, the new Government committed to a 100-day plan that included the Water Services Acts Repeal Bill. It has been a complex process for councils to predict the outcome of this change, noting the significant workload on smaller councils like ours. 

The Government announced their Water Services Acts Repeal Bill announced on 13 February, which included several transitional arrangements for local authorities to defer their 2024-34 Long-term Plans as per Part 8 (sections 48 to 53) of the draft Water Services Acts Repeal Bill which gained Royal Assent on 16 February.

Council must develop an LTP every three years and while considerable work has already been undertaken to develop a draft LTP consultation document in preparation for auditing, this was on pause until the outcome of this decision. The underlying work will form a key part of the next LTP process enabling a more focused approach. 

There remain considerable unknowns for the future of water reform and the new legislation outlines a clear timeline and process to resolve these over the next 12-18 months. Council continues to work with colleagues at Wellington Water to better define a long-term prioritised view of the work required on our waters network. The option of deferring the Long-term Plan for a year gives time for this substantial change to take place and clarify future direction. 

Councillor Colin Olds shares that he supports the deferral. “This will ensure our communities have more assurity around the future Government changes. Understanding what roading and water will look like will enable the development of a sound Long-term Plan”.  

Other advantages include the completion of the Featherston Masterplan to firm up direction on development options in the out years of the LTP, the confirmation of the next three years of NZTA roading funding, and time to further develop our Asset Management Plans. Activities included in the Enhanced Annual Plan for 2024/25 would help inform the next LTP and offer more insight into the future options. And will also allow us to consult and engage South Wairarapa communities with more certainty about the outcomes and budgets we will be proposing for the long-term.

Community consultation for the SWDC Enhanced 2024/25 Annual Plan will commence in April, which will help determine the levels of services and the budget for the 2024/25 year. A nine-year 2025-34 LTP will be produced next year, bringing the timelines back in cycle with councils across NZ continuing with a 2024-34 LTP.  

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support