CODC adopts 2021-2031 Long-term Plan
A 10-year work programme and the budget to deliver it was agreed today by Central Otago District Council when it adopted its Long-term Plan.
Council, community boards and staff have worked over the past 18 months to develop the plan, including project and activity budgets, fees and charges, policies, strategies, consultation material and community engagement.
That work resulted in five key proposals being presented to the community as part of the 2021-31 consultation document Ka Aka Whakamua - Framing our Future: how a district museum function is delivered, how to progress the Cromwell Masterplan, and proposals to support three community-led projects – the Roxburgh community pool upgrade, Alexandra Riverside Park development, and the Omakau Community Hub.
Council presented several options to the communities on these five topics and, and as legally required, included Council’s preferred option for each of the topics. Council received a record 852 submissions as a result of the month-long consultation process that included public drop-ins, six business group meetings, three youth council presentations, two one-hour local radio Q+A sessions, a Facebook live online drop-in and targeted meetings with groups.
Hearings and deliberations were held in the last two weeks of May for the community boards where they considered their ward-specific proposals and made recommendations to Council for consideration at its hearings and deliberations on 1 and 2 June.
Council elected to move forward with its five preferred options, as supported by the community feedback. However, Council has also asked to review the district-wide component of the Cromwell Masterplan after year two once the urban design has been completed. This helps address the community’s concern that Council may be unnecessarily removing buildings that could continue to be used as their current function or possibly be repurposed. Council has also elected to remain with the preferred option for the District Museum function but has delayed implementation to enable sector feedback on alternative options to be worked through and reported back to Council within three months for final determination.
An overview of submitter feedback, key themes and decisions is included in the inside cover of the Long-term Plan and key outcomes will be communicated back directly to submitters in the coming weeks.
As a result of reduced funding from Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, announced just a week ago and impacting on all councils across Aotearoa, some changes had to be made to the final budgets for Council’s roading activity, which staff discussed with Council today. Council received $4.9 million less than what was requested and staff reprioritised the work programme to minimise the impact. This reduction in funding has not impacted on Year 1 rates – which sits at an average rate increase across the district of 6.7%. Due to the reduction in funding and the rework of the roading programme, year two (2022/23) rates have signalled a movement from 7.2% to 7.8%, and year three a slight downward movement going from 7.7% to 7.6%. It is proposed that staff will further review this programme in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 annual plans.
Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan said it had been a long road and a lot of work by all involved, both staff and elected members. He added that the decision-making point of the process had been made easier with the amazing level of community engagement with one in 27 people in Central Otago contributing feedback on the LTP.
"The Central Otago community can be proud of what it has achieved here, with again being one of the most engaged communities in New Zealand with its Council,” said Mayor Tim.
Ka Aka Whakamua - Framing our Future Long-term Plan 2021-2031 document will be available online at www.codc.govt.nz/ltp from 1 July and will be available in print from Central Otago District Council service centres and libraries from late July.