A story in today’s Wairarapa Times-Age said there could be a rates rises of 7.2 per cent. Is that true?

At this stage, there is no rating increase. Every year we must finalise an Annual Plan by June.

We are currently still developing this plan and doing everything we can to keep any rating increase to a minimum.

Our current indications are that the average rise will be somewhere between the 4 per cent previously indicated in the Long Term Plan [LTP] and CPI [Consumer Price Index] of 7.2 per cent.

When we started working on the plan, it was looking to be close to a 20 per cent rating increase  and our staff have done an excellent job to get this down to somewhere between 4 per cent and 7.2 per cent after reviewing projects and delaying some that are not urgent — for example the admin building — as well as not funding depreciation on Three Waters assets.

We will be asking for your feedback on the draft plan in April/May before making any final decisions in June.

A report to councillors is available in the agenda for the Ordinary Council Meeting.