Rotorua Lakes Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2023/24 consultation document will be presented for approval at Council’s meeting on 5 April 2023 before being sent out for public consultation between 11 April and 12 May. This will be the third year of the current Long Term Plan (LTP). Matters for consultation are generally confined to changes from existing LTP proposals. Disappointingly, Lakes Community Board representatives have been excluded from lead-in discussion forums this year.
It has been reported in media that Bay of Plenty Regional Council will not be formally consulting on its Annual Plan but will instead run ‘community engagement’. The report states that although costs in the Annual Plan will be higher than those budgeted in the 2021/31 Long-Term Plan (LTP) due to higher inflation and interest rates, the work programme was consistent with year three of the LTP, and the budgeted variances were within the thresholds identified in Council’s significance and engagement policy. They intend to engage with the community via social media posts, newsletters, information resources at events, and direct contact with the most affected ratepayers. Community forums between Councillors and constituents were also being contemplated.
A general rates increase of 5 per cent is being proposed, which is an average of $38 per household including GST. The recommended targeted rates increase for things like public transport and Rotorua air quality (may include Rotorua lakes maintenance?) would be 12.3 per cent. The Plan is to be adopted and the rates set at a Council meeting on June 29.
As in the past, LRCA will seek to proactively engage in debating both of these documents.