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Mayors Memo


Dr Jason Smith-55Kia ora.

Staring down the year as it stretches ahead, things at Kaipara District Council are looking lean and bright, increasingly efficient and focused on outcomes.

Picking up where we left off at Christmas (four weeks ago but somehow feeling like longer), a key decision was made by Council at its December 20 meeting to hold the ship steady and maintain for the Annual Plan 2019/20 the forecast direction, rates and service levels of Council. This is being done to keep to our commitments set in the Long Term Plan 2018/28 but is only achieved through $1m of belt-tightening by Council staff.

It would have been easy to slash budgets and have lower levels of service as a result, or let it go and let rates rises soar, but we’ve taken the harder route and found extra efficiencies across Council while also maintaining levels of service. The forecast rates levels for 2019/20 should remain unchanged. Running a tight ship is crucial, especially when we have in Kaipara the fastest growing District in the North Island. I’m delighted to report that Council will be doing more with less.

As there’s no change to the direction of Council, its actions and service levels, then there’s no requirement for consultation on the Annual Plan 2019/20 as that would be a duplication of last year’s LTP consultation. That’s another efficiency gain! While Council won’t consult here, the Annual Plan must be adopted by Council by June 30 2019. It will be produced to highlight the works Council will be carrying out and a programme of information events will let everyone know what this Annual Plan means for Kaipara residents and communities. Expect more efficiencies as we go.

On top of these belt-tightening and efficiency gains, as we roll into the new year I am increasingly confident Kaipara is closer to receiving development funding from the Provincial Growth Fund. So far, other parts of the ‘surge region’ of Northland have benefited from the fund, and we’re working hard to make it Kaipara’s turn next. 

In 2019 our tide must turn. We’re on deck, lean, rested and ready for action. Here’s to a prosperous and happy new year for all of us in Kaipara – and let the rising tide come in.

Nga mihi nui.


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