Saturday, April 13, 2024

Kāpiti Coast on track for long term plan

Kāpiti Coast District Council adopted its Annual Report 2021/22 and Summary today.

The report describes how Council has performed against planned works and projects prescribed in the first year of its 2021–41 Long-term Plan.

Mayor K (Guru) Gurunathan said Council’s future plans support a thriving environment, vibrant economy and strong communities.

“Despite a challenging year of navigating COVID-19 impacts, significant weather events, and advocating for our community through a multitude of government reforms, Council has stuck to its plan and invested for resilience and growth,” says Mayor Gurunathan.

“This has included the adoption of our Climate Emergency Action Framework and advancing work to explore climate adaption options through our Takutai Kāpiti project.”

He said seawall projects in Raumati and Paekākāriki were progressing; while efforts to reduce carbon emissions by investing in electric vehicles, transitioning most streetlights to LED, and supporting Energise Ōtaki’s solar farm to help provide power and resilience to the town’s wastewater treatment plant were also on track.

“We’ve improved the safety and resilience of our drinking water supply, and progressed upgrades to our wastewater treatment plants in Waikanae and Ōtaki.”

“We achieved all of our coastal, stormwater, and economic development performance measures and most of our performance measures relating to water, wastewater, and parks and open spaces. In addition to progressing 32 major stormwater priority projects and sealing more than 12 kilometres of local roads, Council has boosted water supply in Ōtaki and installed a new bore head and raw water pipeline in Hautere–Te Horo.

“Following consultation with our iwi partners and the community, Council adopted our Growth Strategy – Te Tupu Pai and our Housing Strategy. These strategies are important tools for ensuring we retain what our residents value most while addressing the need for more than 15,000 additional dwellings to house 32,000 new residents over the next 30 years.”

Acting Chief Executive, Gary Simpson said the year had proved even more challenging under COVID-19, with 42% of staff affected by either illness or isolation requirements.

“Despite staff availability issues, we continued to provide essential services, delivered our highest capital spend of $45.5 million, commenced development of community facilities such as the Mahara Gallery, and responded to over 80,000 customer requests. Seventy percent of our residents were satisfied with our service,” said Mr Simpson.

“Significant disruptions have resulted in 68 percent of our 85 performance measures being achieved for the year however, we are pleased to say that 75 percent of all major projects are still on track, and our net debt is lower than our financial strategy limit (176% compared to 280%).

“We recognise that more work is required with regards to roading, street lighting, and emergency management preparedness. We also recognise that while we supported almost 20,000 Antenno, website and email submissions last year, we have an opportunity to improve community engagement and make it easier for residents to have their say in decision making opportunities.”

Mayor Gurunathan said changes to Council’s makeup were in place for the upcoming elections.

“In 2021, we completed our representation review, resulting in new arrangements from October 2022. This includes additional councillors for the Waikanae and Paraparaumu wards, a change in the ratio of ward to district-wide councillors from 5:5 to 7:3 and an additional community board.”

“Council also agreed to appoint one representative from each of our three iwi mana whenua partners to our Strategy and Operations Committee, Appeals Hearing Committee, and the Grants Allocation Subcommittee with full voting rights from 1 July 2022 to support a mutually mana-enhancing partnership that honours the Crown’s Treaty obligations.

“I want to acknowledge the mahi of our elected members and dedicated staff who, despite many challenges outside of our control, helped Council finish the financial year with a strong local economy, low unemployment, new scientific evidence to support coastal adaptation, and a range of strategies to guide the district through growth and housing challenges,” he said.

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