Chch City Council strikes over all rates increase of 2.81 per cent
15 July 2003
Christchurch City Council today (15 July) approved its Annual Plan and
budget for 2003/04, which carries a lower-than-predicted over all
rates increase of 2.81 per cent.
Councillor Alister James, chairman of the Annual Plan Subcommittee,
says the Council has approved a “forward-looking programme of improvements
that has regard to the well being of the community for the present and the
When it sat this morning the City Council had before it a plan
which would have resulted in an over-all rates increase of 3.12%.
By sector, the final 2.81% over-all increase is allocated as follows:
a 0.78% reduction for commercial and industrial ratepayers, an
increase in residential rates of 3.88%, and a rise in the city’s rural rate
of 4.19%. The key sector rates are in line with those projected in the draft
plan issued in April this year.
The City Council budget year runs from 1 July to 30 June. This
year’s plan gives indications of expected changes in the over all
rates over following years.
They are for increases of 3.61% in 2004/05, 3.08% in 05/06 and 3.02% in
Cr James says this plan meets all the requirements of the new Local
The new Act says the role of local government is to promote the
social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of communities,
in the present and for the future and this plan is doing that and doing
it well,” Cr James says.
We’re keeping up with our streets programme and other essential services,
there’s money there for transport planning and those in the community
who support arts, culture and heritage will be pleased with our initiatives
in this area,” he says.
Today’s meeting included strong debate on proposals to support the
Clearwater Classic international golf tournament and on a plan to develop
a passive water sports facility.
Councillors decided to trim the initial Clearwater Classic
proposal, which was to put in $400,000 a year for three years.
committed to a single $300,000 grant this financial year, with
another $100,000 available
to underwrite the tournament, if needed. Its assistance is
based on the tournament giving local people free access to
the event and that its name
contain the words “City of Christchurch Clearwater Classic”.
It will also instruct the organisers to work with the Council’s Leisure
Unit on ways to make the tournament viable over the long term.
Cr James says there are strong economic arguments in favour
of supporting the Classic. “It has a worldwide audience of 350 million
and would be the number one international and anchor event of which Christchurch
City would be the major sponsor and a major beneficiary with real jobs and
a real impact on visitor numbers,” he says.
The proposal to help develop a facility for passive water sports
was also modified.
A major capital budget to assist the development was withdrawn.
What remains is $150,000 to pay for investigations into whether
such a facility is needed and could support itself and looking
at where it might best be
The investigations will look at all available land options, the
construction costs and the demand and other relevant issues,” Cr James
Any proposed Council support resulting from those investigations
would be available for full public debate and feedback in
annual plan round, he says.
The Draft Plan was open for public comment from 23 April
until 28 May. More than 300 people and groups made submissions
Notes on budget
- Each year, the full cost of City Council operations are
met by the rates take and earnings from investments and dividends from
the companies which it owns or part-owns and from fees and charges.
- This year’s plan has an operational budget of $287 million. A little
under half of that ($132m) will come from income other than rates. This
plan’s capital spend is expected to be $97.4m.
- Christchurch City Council is one of only two New Zealand local
bodies with an AA+ credit rating.
- The Council’s policy is to borrow money only for projects which
create or improve a capital asset, not for general operational
spending. What this means is that extra spending such as money
grants from the Council
or higher payments for fuel and wages directly push up rates,
while money earmarked to refurbish a hall or build a new library
do not have the same
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