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LTP - Our 10-year budget

This page contains information about the Consultation Document and Supporting Documentation for the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.
Updated: 16/07/2018 3:06 p.m.

The Consultation Document outlines the priorities identified through conversations with the public, plans already in play, statutory obligations and how these will be scheduled and funded. 

Our 10-year budget

The Financial Strategy for this plan proposes that we continue the steady-as-we-go approach started in 2015. Over the past three years we have made solid progress maintaining our assets and levels of service. This and good budget management, has put us in a sound financial position.

With a proposed capital expenditure programme of $724.3 million and operational revenues of $1.8 billion in the next 10 years, Council is a big business. As with any business, we need to carefully consider the appropriate levels of borrowing, income and expenditure that will allow us to invest in our District. Before we decide where to direct our investment, we must first evaluate and consider a complex set of financial factors. These include assessing our funding sources, including user pays, rates and government subsidies and where best to spend that money.

We aim to do this in a way that ensures that:

  • the share of the costs that people pay through rates is fair
  • what we do matches what we can afford
  • we are creating a sustainable financial platform for future generations.

Our Financial Strategy aims to:

  • achieve a balanced budget in every year, with revenue exceeding expenditure
  • limit overall rates revenue (excluding water) to a maximum of 70% of total revenue
  • set total net debt no higher than 175% of total revenue
  • maintain interest costs at less than 25% of rates revenue
  • achieve a net debt per capita level below $2,150 in 2017-18 rising in line with inflation.

Over the next 10 years, this allows for:

  • a capital expenditure programme of $724.3 million
  • 74% of capital expenditure focused on core network infrastructure (roading, water, waste, stormwater and flood protection)
  • operational revenues of $1.8 billion
  • operational spending of $1.6 billion.


We propose sticking with an overall general rates increase of 2% beyond local government cost index (LGCI) inflation, taking into account the normal growth in the number of ratepayers of 1% per year as our District grows over the 10 years of the plan.

Fees and charges

We propose increasing most fees and charges in line with the LGCI, which ranges from 2% to 2.7% across the 10 years of the plan. In some areas, such as food inspections and liquor licensing, Council will seek to recover actual costs. This may result in increases beyond inflation.

So what is LGCI?

Most people are familiar with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the method used for calculating how the buying power of the average consumer’s dollar has changed over time. The CPI is based on common consumer items such as food and housing.

As we do not buy the same items as the general consumer, most local authorities use the Local Government Cost Index (LGCI).

Similar to CPI, it measures the buying power of Council e.g. oil prices; infrastructure construction costs.

LGCI is forecast to increase at approximately 2.3% per annum. 

How to have your say

Our Consultation Document outlines what we are proposing for the next 10 years. It has been created using the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2015-25 as a base and then adjusted to reflect feedback from our community, received during our early engagement phase in mid-2017.

We want you to tell us what you think of this plan, the choices we have outlined, the projects and what we are proposing. We are also consulting on changes to our fees and charges and various policies. All of the supporting documents are available on our website. If you do not have access to the internet or would prefer a hard copy, please call us to request them.

Concurrent consultations

Alongside the Consultation Document for the LTP we also consulted on our:

  • rating policy
  • revenue and financing policy
  • development contributions policy
  • fees and charges 2018-19.

Consultation on these policies, fees and charges, will be publicly notified on our website. People interested in the proposals will be able to present their views during a formal submission period from 7 March to 8 April 2018. This will be followed by formal hearings where any submitter may choose to speak to their submission.


We borrow money to pay for significant assets that last for many years, such as our recent investments in Te Matau a Pohe and significant wastewater improvements. If these assets were paid for solely from the rates collected that year, today’s ratepayers would be paying the entire cost of assets that our future ratepayers would use in the years ahead.

We therefore use debt to fund assets, which allows us to share the assets' costs between all users with future users repaying that debt. In other words, all the people using an asset end up paying for it over its lifetime. Spreading of costs over multiple years is known as ‘inter-generational equity’ and is standard practice throughout the local government sector.

Over the past few years we have capped our maximum total debt. This has effectively capped our borrowing so that it lines up with today’s revenue and population, although it did not allow for growth or inflation. We are proposing to increase this debt cap in line with inflation and growth, to maintain our buying power.

We have also split our debt into two parts:

  • our core debt, that we incur doing our day-today business, which will peak at $182.6 million
  • debt for two one-off projects (the new Civic Centre and Theatre), which will take the total debt peak to $239.3 million if they both proceed.

This is what we call special project debt.

Key dates

  • 7 March - 8 April: Open for feedback
  • 20, 23, 24 April: Oral feedback
  • 28 June: Proposed adoption of the Long Term Plan 2018-2028

Find out more about the process, important dates and how to make submissions, visit our facebook page, our Here to Where website and the consultation document which is available at Council offices and on our Long Tem Plan page on our website.(links below)

 WDC Facebook page

 Here To Where

The closing date for feedback was Sunday 8 April 2018 and we look forward to hearing from you. 

Public meeting dates and more information

If you want more information or view the list of public meeting dates,  you can phone us on 09 430 4200 or visit our Long Term Plan page on our website.



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