Kāpiti Coast District Council has adopted the long-term plan, which includes an average 7.79 per cent rates rise for the 2021-22 year.
Mayor K Gurunathan said the rates rise, which will vary for different properties, was tough but there were good reasons for the increase, including a catch-up after a lower-than-proposed increase last year in response to Covid-19.
"Some of this increase is related to our proposed increased spending, but the council is also facing higher costs that we have no choice but to pass on.
"Inflation and depreciation accounts for 6.2 per cent (on average) of the proposed rates increase, so only 1.6 per cent (on average) of the proposed rates increase are actual changes to the work programme.
"We appreciate the average rates increase will be harder for some households than others, and that's why we've increased the rates remission fund by $50,000 and changed our rates remission policy to widen the eligibility criteria."
He said the challenges the district was facing required a bold response, and the long-term plan 2021-41, developed in consultation with iwi partners and the community, was key to securing the district's future.
"Between a global pandemic, a growing population, issues with housing availability and affordability and climate change, we are at a point where action is required to make sure we're building our resilience and protecting what we love about the Kāpiti lifestyle.
"Following central government's lead and advice, we have adopted a stimulus plan and budget.
"We have trebled our capital expenditure programme, keeping our focus on our core infrastructure role, which makes up 71 per cent of our $1.4 billion spend over the course of this plan.
"Our expanded capital works programme will deliver projects that support the ongoing Covid-19 recovery and provide the infrastructure renewals and upgrades we need to maintain core services and prepare for our district's expected growth."
Over 700 individuals and some organisations helped shape the plan.
"For example, through submissions we heard loud and clear that the community did not want to pay a spectator fee of $1 at council pools, so we removed this from the plan.
"Council also increased the social investment fund by $50,000 specifically for Ōtaki, as well as allocated $50,000 to go towards a space or hub for Ōtaki youth, to reflect the range of equity issues that were reflected through the submissions."
He said the recent 2021 Taxpayers Union Ratepayers' Report showed Kāpiti Coast District Council continued to perform strongly in terms of operating costs per ratepayer, ranking the lowest in the country.
"The report further reaffirms that council is a fairly lean organisation when compared to other councils throughout New Zealand.
"Keeping our operating costs low is not an easy task with increasing demands being passed down from central government and cost pressures in the open market.
"Council also needs to balance the need of keeping the cost of providing services today low against the need to plan and prepare our district for future growth, and saw this play out in our long-term plan discussions with the community."
Council will take a bigger role in housing, rebuild the Paekākāriki seawall in timber with improved beach access, set up a council-controlled organisation, explore whether council could play a role in the Kāpiti Coast Airport.
Fees and charges
General fees will increase 3.6 per cent to reflect increased costs of providing services. Fees and charges cover everything from building consents to hall hire.
There won't be a new spectator charge of $1 for all swimming pools and additional swimming pool charge of $1 a swimmer attending club or group activities that hire lanes.
Levels of service
The recycling facility at the Waikanae green waste and recycling site in Park Ave, Waikanae, will close.
A one-year agreement with Composting New Zealand will see the green waste facility retained at no cost to ratepayers.
The recycling facility costs council about $123,000 a year to resource, manage and maintain, and council feels this money could be better used in providing other services, facilities and projects in the district as kerbside recycling collection services are available to most and the Otaihanga transfer station is only a short distance away.
Council remained committed to waste minimisation and, to offset the closure of the recycling facility, has committed an additional $150,000 to fund further climate change initiatives across the district.
•Support a collaborative solution to address the safety concerns in and around Paraparaumu College, specifically $60,000 in year one for an alternative entrance path to the college cycle parking area.
•Add $10,000 annually to enable council to work with sectors of the community on town centre planning.
•Contribute $266,000 to Nga Manu Nature Reserve's visitor centre development and proposed forest canopy walkway over years two and three of the plan, but a rejig sees $50,000 of the sum available in year one for immediate improvements to the visitor centre.
•Increase the social investment fund by $50,000 specifically for Ōtaki to reflect the range of equity issues that were reflected through the submissions.
•Direct $50,000 towards a space or hub for youth in Ōtaki.
•Spend $50,000 for an indoor sports centre feasibility study.