Councils around the country will soon start consulting with their communities on their Annual Plans for the 2022/23 year.

Auckland Council has indicated that consultation will run for a month from 28 February. Queenstown Lakes District Council and Christchurch City Council will open consultation next month and Tauranga City Council’s draft Annual Plan is expected this month, while Wellington City Council is set to present its draft Annual Plan on 8 March.

Auckland Council’s recently released supporting documentation outlines its key priority areas, including climate action, management of budget pressures, infrastructure investment and waste minimisation reform.

The proposed Budget includes the Climate Action Package and the accompanying Climate Action Targeted Rate announced by Mayor Goff late last year. It has also indicated that average general rates will rise by 3.5%, as previously signalled.

In Tauranga, the Council has indicated an overall rates increase of 13% as it seeks to focus its investment on core infrastructure to support the city’s rapid growth. This exceeds the forecasted 12% increase for 2022/23 in the city’s 2021 Long-Term Plan.

Down south, Cantabrians can expect to see a proposed targeted rate for waste collection and a conservative approach to spending, with an awareness of supply chain constraints, inflation and increased construction costs characterising the Council’s preliminary indications.

Wellington City Council’s draft plan reflects a proposed 9.1% rates rise, $1.3b forecast level of debt, and $421m capital programme. Engagement will follow the consultation document which will be presented to the Annual/Long-Term Plan Committee in early March.

These numbers are just a starting point, and as always, we encourage the community to get involved in the work of their local council, read what is proposed, and make a submission on what is important to them.