In the last three years our District’s population has grown by 5,500 to almost 90,000 people and it’s getting bigger.
As a city grows, so do the expectations of its residents. We need to have bigger facilities, more to do and places to gather and meet.
This brings some great opportunities and some challenges. How do we make sure growth is in the right parts of our District? How do we make sure our services can cope with this growth and how do we make sure we have enough money to pay for it all?
This is a constant tension for councils but we are proposing that we stick to the plan we worked out to address this issue when we did the last 10 year LTP. We propose to:
- stick with the rate increases of the last LTP – LGCI +2%, which is around 4.3% per annum
- allow for a 1% increase in income growth generated by additional ratepayers coming into our District.
One change to that approach is that we are proposing an increase in our core borrowing limit in line with inflation and population growth. There’s detailed information on our finances on the budget page of this website.
Here’s a summary of the major projects that will help us set up for the future.
Wairua River source and treatment: 2025-28
Upgrading the treatment plants at Poroti Springs will support the current system when there are water shortages.
Riverside Drive / Onerahi Road: 2024-28
Populations in Whangarei Heads, Parua Bay and Onerahi are expected to continue growing in the next 10 years. Riverside Drive to Onerahi is a critical route for the connection of these communities to the city. The option we have budgeted in this plan is to upgrade the existing road; the alternative of a by-pass could also be considered. As this project is in later years of the plan we will come back to you and consult on the options closer to the time.
Districtwide wastewater treatment plants: 2018-28
The Ngunguru waste water treatment plant’s wetlands will be upgraded. The land area irrigation at Ruakaka will be extended to accommodate growth. New land irrigation fields will be developed at Waipu and the treatment plant there will be upgraded.
New airport evaluation: 2018-28
The current airport will no longer be fit for purpose due to changes in airplane and airline operator requirements in about 10 years. We are continuing to scope and plan for a new airport site for our District.
Sportsfield land purchases: 2022 and 2028
As growth continues in our District, the demand on our sportsfields grows. We are proposing to purchase additional land to develop new facilities, including a ‘second Kensington Park’ in year 10. As this project is in later years of the plan, we will come back to you and consult on the options closer to the time.
Civic Centre for Whangarei: 2018-20
A Civic Centre would help revitalise, stimulate and improve the amenity of the city, drive operational efficiencies at Council and help improve customer service.
We are seeking your feedback on the proposal for the development of a new Civic Centre. We need to know where you want it located.
This plan proposes that we move forward with these projects to get setup for the future and ensure equity amongst today’s and tomorrow’s ratepayers.
The drivers of these projects are a combination of growth and levels of service, for more details on these please see the Infrastructure Strategy.