Long-Term Plan 2021–31

Our Long-Term Plan sets out the activities, priorities and work programmes we propose to deliver over a 10-year period. It also outlines the costs and how they could be funded.

We produce a new Long-Term Plan every three years, as required by the Local Government Act 2002.

Our Consultation Document and draft Long-Term Plan 2021–31 (or supplementary information) were approved for public consultation by our Council on 25 February. These documents will be available to download here soon, or hard copies can be provided on request.

During March and April 2021 we will be seeking feedback from you (our partners, stakeholders and the community) on the Long-Term Plan 2021–31.

Our Long-Term Plan sets out the activities, priorities and work programmes we propose to deliver over a 10-year period. It also outlines the costs and how they could be funded.

We produce a new Long-Term Plan every three years, as required by the Local Government Act 2002.

Our Consultation Document and draft Long-Term Plan 2021–31 (or supplementary information) were approved for public consultation by our Council on 25 February. These documents will be available to download here soon, or hard copies can be provided on request.

During March and April 2021 we will be seeking feedback from you (our partners, stakeholders and the community) on the Long-Term Plan 2021–31.

  • Draft Long-Term Plan prioritises environmental progress

    24 Feb 2021
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    Environment Canterbury is seeking to step-change environmental progress through its draft Long-Term Plan, Council Chair Jenny Hughey said today.

    The Council’s draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31, included in papers for Thursday’s Council meeting, shows the Council intends to consult ratepayers on two options to increase regional activity across all areas of Environment Canterbury’s responsibility. Both options require an increase in rates.

    Ratepayers will be consulted on two options

    "Council is deliberately seeking to increase activity to accelerate regional outcomes, a message we are hearing strongly from the community," Hughey said.

    "As well as community expectations, we must also meet a rising tide of Government expectations, including delivering programmes like the new Essential Freshwater package.

    "People’s ability to pay has been at the forefront of Council’s discussions, and some of our proposed investment is to meet existing commitments, or to attract funding from other sources, enabling us to deliver more, including jobs that support COVID-19 recovery," Hughey said.

    Option 1

    Of the two options for consultation, Option 1 represents work costing $246.54m – about $46m more than this year. That includes all statutorily required work and provision to accelerate key projects, including public transport and the Government’s Essential Freshwater package.

    Of that, $143m would be rate-funded, with the remainder made up of government grants and Council user-pays charges – an average increase of $136 per rateable property.

    Option 2

    Option 2 represents work costing $240.19m – about $40m more than this year. It will deliver all statutorily required work, but compared to Option 1, some projects are delayed, scaled back or not proposed to be funded.

    Of that, $135m would be rate-funded, with the remainder made up of government grants and Council user-pays charges – an average increase of $110 per rateable property.

    "We know this is not an insignificant amount of money, but there is also a price to pay if we don’t continue to take action. These are big decisions and Council is looking for feedback from the community. It is important we hear your views. We urge the community to be informed, to consider what is important, and to tell Council what you think," Hughey said.

    Public consultation on the Draft Long-Term Plan

    Public consultation will run from 8 March to 11 April. When consultation opens, you’ll be able to find out more, including how these options could impact on regional council rates by property, and make a submission, at haveyoursay.ecan.govt.nz/LTP.

    Consultation will be followed by hearings and council deliberations, with the Long-Term Plan scheduled to be adopted on 17 June.

  • Rates explained

    19 Dec 2020

    Talk to anyone about Council business, and rates are usually a topic that pops up pretty quickly.

    Generally, people aren’t shy about sharing their opinions on rates. Around June each year, Councils' adopt their Long-Term or Annual Plans and ‘strike the rates’ to set what ratepayers will be asked to pay for the coming year’s activity, there is often media coverage and associated debate about the inevitable rate increases.

    Generally, the media reports “X% rates increase” as the headline. This can be misleading as it implies that everybody’s rates will be increasing by X%. In reality, the percentage refers to the amount the Council’s total revenue from rates will be increasing. What each property pays depends on the location and value of the property.

    Rates explained

    The term ‘rates’ is used to cover a number of different charges.

    There are targeted rates – which apply to specific locations or activities only, and which can be based on the capital value of your property, the land value, or simply be applied as a uniform charge ie every property located in that area or benefiting from that specific activity is charged the same amount.

    Then there are general rates – which are charged to every property in Canterbury, and again these can be based on the value of the property or can be a uniform charge. Uniform charges are also known as the UAGC or Uniform Annual General Charge.

    How are they collected?

    As a regional council, our rates are collected via your local city or district Council. In Christchurch, this is through the Christchurch City Council, and you will see the amount as a line item on your CCC rates bill.

    The total amount on your rates bill for Environment Canterbury’s work will be made up of a number of different rating amounts – depending on the mix of targeted and general rates (including UAGCs), that apply to your property.

    The leaflet in your rates bill explains how your particular rates are made up.

    Rates are your investment, as a property owner, in the current services and future state of your local area and the wider region.

    What are the rates used for?

    Your CCC rates pay for familiar services like drinking water supply and rubbish collection, among many other services.

    From the Regional Council perspective, rates pay for often less tangible and longer-term programmes protecting the quality of our natural resources – air, land, water and biodiversity – monitoring compliance with consent conditions, and other services including public transport and emergency management that benefit the wider region.

    Find out how rates in your rating area fund projects.

    Keeping rates affordable

    The challenge all Councils face with rates is that affordability for the ratepayer dictates the pace of progress of rate-funded programmes. What programmes we undertake and how we fund them are important decisions, which is why we consult on them.

    Environment Canterbury has in recent years been building a foundation, working for a healthier environment at the pace we felt the community could sustain.

    A question we’re now facing, with a rising tide of Government policy settings and community expectation regarding the environment, is how we can accelerate the rate of environmental progress while keeping affordability in front of mind.

    Other sources of council income

    With all that said about rates, they are not our only form of income and we receive central government grants for a variety of services, such as support for the public transport network, and there are user-pays charges for consent applications, swing moorings, bus travel and other activities.

    We can also make use of council reserves (which of course need to be topped back up again), and we can borrow funds to the extent that our policies allow (which need to be repaid). Both of these impact rates but spread the impact out over time.

    These different funding mechanisms, and how to fairly and justifiably apply the different types of rates, are all things the Council considers when looking at Annual and Long-Term Plans – it is detailed work and not a simple task.

    The particular combination of funding streams that Council confirms when it strikes the rates will affect all ratepayers differently, hence why a single X% figure for a rates increase doesn’t tell the whole story about what you will pay and what work you are supporting with your rating contribution.

    Have your say on the upcoming Long-Term Plan

    While people don’t seem to be shy expressing their opinion on rates and what the Council is up to, this doesn’t seem to translate into many people making a submission and telling the Council what they think.

    We will be putting our Long-Term Plan 2021-31 out for public input early in 2021, and your participation in that process is a key element of ensuring we get the right balance between what is affordable and what we need to do.

    A simple email telling us your ideas about our Long –Term Plan will be most welcome. Find out about ways you can have your say.

    Council is looking forward to hearing from you.