• Media release

29 May 2024

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Southland District Council today approved its Long Term Plan 2024-2034 consultation document to be released for public feedback.

The document is titled These are challenging times, Southland Murihiku, a reflection of the difficult decisions Council is consulting on at a time when costs are rising steeply.

There are four key issues.

These include a cost-saving option to reduce levels of service on road maintenance while continuing to rebuild the 134 bridges that need to be replaced before 2034. The effect would be that maintenance and resurfacing of some roads would not be done, there would be some reduced speed limits and some low-use sealed roads would revert to gravel.

There is a proposal to seek extensions of resource consents for some wastewater plants that are coming due for upgrades over the next 10 years, in order to temporarily delay that work to reduce spending within the long term plan (LTP) period. This would help to ease pressure on Council’s borrowing limits.

Different levels of district-wide funding of Te Anau Airport Manapōuri are being consulted on. This follows a review of the airport’s operations which recommended establishing a more commercial operation for what is considered a district strategic asset. Currently Fiordland community ratepayers are funding the shortfall in revenue required to keep the airport operational.

Feedback is also being sought on several options for glass recycling.  Government legislation requires councils to do kerbside collection of glass by 2027.

The average Southland district rate increase for 2024/2025 in the proposed LTP is 13.66%, below the current national average increase of 15%, with most increases across the district ranging from 4% to 13% for residential rates, and from 11% to 17% for rural and business rates. There will be exceptions for individual properties.

The consultation period runs from 5 June until 5 July, with hearings scheduled on 16-18 July.

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