Mayor Tory Whanau says a rates increase of 12.8 percent – a figure previously flagged through the Long-term Plan [LTP} – would be an acceptable outcome.
“Since then, a range of factors have impacted budget forecasts including inflation, higher debt repayment due to the increase in the Official Cash Rate, and higher depreciation and insurance costs.
“The Council has already found savings to offset these pressures to keep the proposed rates increase at 12.8 percent. However, we can only go so far otherwise it would have significant consequences on rates in future years."
Mayor Whanau acknowledges some households are struggling with the cost of living, which makes any rates increase a bitter pill to swallow.
“I do feel for those struggling with day-to-day living costs but, unfortunately, Wellington has had decades of under-investment in key infrastructure like Three Waters and housing. We are tackling this head-on by investing 30 years of what we’d normally invest into a single decade.
“It includes transforming our streets so they are not just for cars but for living and enjoying, plus fixing pipes, enabling housing intensification, accelerating zero carbon and waste free transition, as well as upgrading cultural and community spaces.”
Mayor Whanau says it was clear at the time of the last LTP that Wellingtonians wanted this investment, and the recent election result supports that.
“This is not the time to reduce investment in the city. That is how we got into this situation in the first place, and delaying investment now would place an additional unfair burden on future generations.”
The rating year runs from 1 July 2023 until 30 June 2024.