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Long Term Plan 2024-27

Long Term Plan

Update: Submissions closed at 5.00 PM on Sunday 28 April 2024. Our councillors will now carefully consider all the feedback we received. They will use this information to make decisions before officially approving and adopting the plan in June this year. 

We are calling for feedback on the Long Term Plan (LTP) for 2024-27. The LTP is the council's key strategic planning document, which will set out what we plan to do in the next three years and how we will pay for it.

The LTP is an opportunity to think about the best way we can support our communities' social, cultural, environmental, and economic wellbeing. That means making sure our services – such as roading, water systems, libraries, and service centres – are fit for purpose and that we can afford to pay for them.

The LTP usually looks 10 years ahead, but the back-to-back weather events of 2022 and 2023 have had a significant impact on repair costs for our district. Because of this, the government is allowing the Far North and seven other councils in Aotearoa to reduce their Long Term Plan forecasts to just three years. This will allow the council to focus on repairing damaged infrastructure, particularly roads, and make the best use of government funding.

While our transport network will be a crucial focus of spending over the next three years, we need to hear from the community about other Long Term Plan proposals. Preliminary feedback has distilled these down to three main questions.

What’s being considered?

Stormwater is rainwater that flows across roofs, roads and driveways into the council’s stormwater system of drains and culverts.

Recent severe weather events have impacted our stormwater infrastructure and its ability to cope is at capacity. We need to decide on how we rate this activity going forward, and how we deliver the stormwater programme to make sure our long-term investment is future proofed.

We currently rate to fund specific capital developments within the urban communities across the district. The rate is set in two categories with no differentials. We are considering changing the way we rate for stormwater across the district.

There are two options to consider:
1. Status quo (keep things as they are)
2. Change to a targeted rate based on land use and introduce a public good rate (this is our preferred option)

You can find out detailed information on each of the options in the consultation document here. Let us know which option is your preferred choice.

Note: this proposal does not affect those who are not connected (or not able to connect) to a council water or wastewater scheme.

We are suggesting a shift in the way we rate for water and wastewater. These services cost a lot of money and it is tough to fund these services in an affordable and equitable way with the district being so spread out.

We need to upgrade our water and wastewater services to support growth and make sure they are doing the job they should. But if we continue to rate water and wastewater the way we do currently, some communities will not be able to afford their rates when we carry out these much-needed upgrades.

We currently charge an operating rate for both water and wastewater which is set at a district-wide level.

Last year, we asked for input on switching to a district-wide rating for water supply and wastewater. However, the council rejected this proposal because of the introduction of Three Waters legislation and the potential changes it might bring, which were uncertain at that time. This is why we are asking this question again. This time we have included additional options of a targeted ward-based rate and a scheme based operational rate.

We are proposing this change to make sure we can upgrade our services to be compliant and support growth while still managing affordability – one of the biggest challenges we face as a district.

There are four options to consider:

1. Status quo (keep things as they are)
2.Change to district-wide rates for those connected to / or have the ability to connect to water supply and / or wastewater services
3. Change to targeted ward rate for those connected to / or have the ability to connect to water supply and / or wastewater services
4. Change to targeted scheme-based operational rate for those connected to / or have the ability to connect to wastewater services.

You can find out detailed information on each of the options in the consultation document here. Let us know which option is your preferred choice.

We operate six service centres, three isites and six libraries across our district. Last year, these centres had around 707,000 face-to-face interactions. While that might sound like a lot, the number is actually decreasing because more people can access our services online now.

Currently, many of our buildings are used for one purpose only, whether it be a service centre, library, or isite. This means customers may have to travel to multiple locations for council services. Additionally, smaller facilities often have limited operating hours.

Each of these buildings incurs significant operating costs, which have been steadily rising over time due to inflation, interest rates, and general day-to-day expenses.

As we become more digitally connected, our communities' needs will change, and we will require less service centres. We are considering how we can still provide these services in the future in the most cost-effective way.

There are three options to consider:

1. Provide multi-purpose centres: two for Bay of Islands-Whangaroa, one each for Kaikohe-Hokianga and Te Hiku (this is our preferred option)
2. Provide a multi-purpose centre for each ward
3. Status quo (keep things as they are)

You can find out detailed information on each of the options in the consultation document here. Let us know which option is your preferred choice.

We also welcome your feedback on other issues that relate to the Long Term Plan and you have the opportunity to provide this in your submission. Your input is important, and our councillors will carefully consider all the feedback we receive. They will use this information to make decisions before officially approving and adopting the plan in June this year.

This is a one-in-three-year chance to influence the direction and priorities of the council's strategic planning.

How can I have a say?

Click here to complete the online survey

While we prefer you to complete your submission online, you can also download our print-friendly form here(PDF, 103KB) and send it to us:

  • By email: submissions@fndc.govt.nz
  • In person: Drop off the form at any FNDC service centre (printed forms will also be available for you to pick up here)
  • By mail: LTP submissions, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440

If you are unable to complete a written survey, you can request to share your submission verbally by emailing us at submissions@fndc.govt.nz. You can also catch up with us in person at one of our planned 'pop ups' in Kaikohe, Kaitāia or Kerikeri throughout April. Information on when and where we will be is listed in the project timeline.

Note: any submissions that are out of scope, offensive, inappropriate, or late will not be accepted in accordance with our Submissions Policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

The LTP usually looks 10 years ahead to allocate spending, but the back-to-back weather events of 2022 and 2023 have had a significant impact on repair costs for our district.

Because of this, the government is allowing the Far North and seven other councils in Aotearoa to change their current Long Term Plan forecasts to just three years. Cyclone Gabrielle was one weather event that impacted an already vulnerable roading network in the Far North. The repair bill for this infrastructure is estimated to be $41 million. Shortening the span of the LTP to three years allows the council to focus on repairing damaged infrastructure, particularly roads, and make the best use of government funding. Roading repairs will incorporate works that also address drainage issues and will make our roads more resilient. More than $322 million has been allocated to new works and road renewals over the next five years.

This simplified version of the plan lets us:

  • Plan for the next three years instead of 10
  • Concentrate on recovering from the weather events in 2022/23
  • Focus on our number one priority – repairing our transport network.

More information can be found in the consultation document.

The shortened LTP includes a rates increase of 16.5 per cent for 2024/25, followed by 7.9 per cent for 2025/26 and then 4.6 per cent in the third year of the LTP. If we proceed with some of the proposals in the consultation document, these figures may increase.

This year, we’ve had more challenges, like higher costs to fix roads because of the severe weather events, taking back control of managing water services, and a big increase in contract expenses, as well as the higher costs of goods and services. Because of these challenges, we need to increase our rates to ensure we deliver what we say we are going to, while still maintaining what we have. However, we know that many Far North residents are already struggling to pay their bills. Simply raising council rates to cover increased costs isn’t an option.

In response, staff and elected members have assessed budgets line by line to reduce what we spend while continuing to deliver our core services. Achieving that balance will require some tough decisions.

We also collaborated with our community boards, who have outlined strategic plans and priorities. Some projects included in these plans will proceed, but our focus on repairing our transport network means some will be delayed until the next planning cycle.

More information on the proposed rates increase can be found on page 20 in the consultation document

  • You can submit online via our digital survey. Online submissions save cost and time!
  • You can email your feedback to: submissions@fndc.govt.nz
  • You can come and fill in a printed form at a council service centre near you.
  • You can post your form back to us at:  
    LTP submissions 
    Far North District Council 
    Private Bag 752 
    Kaikohe 0440
  • You can catch up with us in person at one of our planned 'pop ups' in Kaikohe, Kaitāia or Kerikeri throughout April:
    - Cornerstone Church: 3 April, 10am - 6pm
    - Te Ahu Kaitāia Service Centre: 9 April, 10am - 5pm
    - Chambers - Kaikohe Service Centre: 10am - 6pm
    -  Te Tai Tokerau Secondary Schools Kapa Haka Festival, Ōkaihau College: 10 and 11 April
    - The Packhouse Market, Kerikeri: 13 April, 8am -1.30pm

Below are the drop in sessions/pop up events we have planned throughout April. These are an opportunity for the community to discuss proposed plans, ask questions, and share feedback in person.

We will also be scheduling additional sessions as required.

There are several key steps to complete before the plan is formally adopted, beginning with community consultation. Our councillors will then carefully consider all the feedback we receive. They will use this information to make decisions before officially approving and adopting the plan in June this year.

Timeline summary:

26 March - 28 April: Consultation with our communities

30 April, 1 May, 3 May: Verbal submission days

20 May, 23 May: Deliberations meeting

26 June: Adoption of the plan meeting

1 July: Plan comes into effect

You can find detailed information in our consultation document available here or in paper versions at any of our service centres, isites or libraries. Other supporting information is also available on our website, or you can view the paper versions at Kaikohe, Kaitāia or Kerikeri service centres.

Supporting Documents

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Supporting Links

Rating Information Database