Region's lowest rates rises forecast for South Taranaki

South Taranaki District Councillors have approved a proposed long term plan which forecasts the lowest rate rises in Taranaki over the next decade.
Stimulating economic growth, compliance with new environmental legislation, upgrading some of its small towns centres and affordability were key themes guiding councillors who adopted the proposed 2021 2031 Long Term Plan for public consultation on Monday.

For South Taranaki ratepayers, the result is an average rate increase of 3.99 per cent each year over the next ten years, which is the lowest in the region.

By comparison, ratepayers in New Plymouth may face an average increase of 12 per cent in the first year and 6 per cent for the next nine years, while in Stratford, annual rises of 4.67 per cent are being forecast.

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In a statement, South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon said key projects were being funded with a combination of loans, external funding sources and earnings from the Long Term Investment Fund, rather than through rates, to keep rates rises down.

Over the past decade weve focussed on upgrading the districts water infrastructure, key community facilities and implementing projects to make South Taranaki a desirable place to live and do business, he said.

We now have a much-improved water network and, since our last long term plan three years ago, we have progressed the Hwera town centre redevelopment, Te Ramanui o Ruaptahanga and the Nukumaru Station Rd extension projects.

The councils focus for the next ten years is to complete these key projects, continue to upgrade its three waters infrastructure with a focus on wastewater, increase spending on roads and implement its environment and sustainability strategy.

He said it aimed to create the conditions to encourage sustainable economic growth in the right places, with projects such as the South Taranaki Business Park and town centre upgrades for Manaia, Eltham, Opunake, Ptea and Waverley.

The proposed plan is out for consultation from March 31 to May 7.

Nine community meetings are being held throughout the district between March 30 and April 29, with details on the councils website. The consultation document will be available at libraries and published in the Taranaki Star on April 8.


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