14 Mar 2024

Christchurch City Council has adopted its draft budget for the next 10 years, with a proposed 13.24% rates increase in 2024-2025, and is now seeking public feedback.

The Draft Long Term Plan 2024-2034 sets out what the Council plans to deliver over the coming decade, and how it will pay for it. It proposes a $16.8 billion budget over the full 10 years, with $4.9 billion of that planned to be spent in the next three.

The proposed rates increase for the average household is 12.4%.

$286 million has been committed to completing Te Kaha

Mayor Phil Mauger says that like every household and business across the city, the Council is operating in a tough economic environment.

“The Councillors and I are all well aware that rates rises have a big impact on your back pocket. But there are a lot of factors such as interest costs, insurance premiums, and inflation, that we have little ability to control.

“The Council has done an amazing job over the past decade, post-quake, to help make Christchurch and Banks Peninsula the best place in New Zealand to live, work, play and invest. We want to keep up this momentum in the decade to come as there's still so much to do. We can support this by taking care of the basics that individuals, businesses, and communities need and expect.

“We're committed to keeping rates affordable, controlling debt, delivering better services, and looking after our environment.

“Balancing all this is a constant challenge and we have a range of views on how we manage this around our Council table. There's been a lot of conversations over the past few months, as we've worked together with staff to drive that rates increase down – it was over 18% when we started. The Draft LTP we're going out with next week is the proposal we've arrived at together – but we really do need input from across the community.”

Important proposed figures in the Draft LTP include:

  • Of the total rates increase for next year, the residential average is 12.4% compared to the business average of 14.2% and rural average of 15.4%. For an average-valued house ($764,364) this equates to an extra $416.23 a year or $8 a week. The cumulative rates increase over the 10 years this LTP covers will be 57.8%.
  • A total capital investment of $6.5 billion over 10 years, with a core capital spend of $566 million in the first year, $608 million in the second year, and $664 million in the third year, to ensure the Council can do all the work that needs to be done and deliver it in the set timeframe.

Renewing water infrastructure is a big part of the LTP.

  • $226 million to be spent on road, footpath and cycleway renewals, including resurfacing (asphalt, chip seal and pavement reconstruction) in the first three years of the Draft LTP.
  • $480 million of capital spend on renewing and upgrading the city's water networks (drinking water, stormwater and flood protection and wastewater) in the first three years.
  • In addition to the core programme, the Council has committed $286 million through 2025 to 2027 to complete Te Kaha, Canterbury’s Multi-Use Arena. In 2024/25 this accounts for 2.17% of the proposed 13.24% rates increase.
  • Spending $9.1 billion on the day-to-day services the Council provides, such as waste collection, libraries, recreation and sport, and more.
  • Borrowing $2.6 billion for the capital programme and repaying $1.2 billion of existing debt, while keeping within prudent debt benchmarks.
  • Making cost savings and adding revenue to reduce rates where possible. Over the whole period of the LTP, the Council has identified a combination of operational cost savings and additional revenue of $41 million, including $6 million in 2024/25, without impacting on current levels of service.
  • Continuing our investment in climate mitigation and adaptation over the ten years, with $318m allocated to projects that address climate mitigation and $1 billion on projects that directly help us adapt and build our resilience.

“We also have an opportunity to look for additional efficiencies and savings, and some options to invest more in preparing for the long-term future of our city.

“Feedback from the community will help us shape our final LTP, so I really encourage people to have their say,” Mayor Mauger says.

Public feedback on the Draft LTP opens on Monday 18 March and runs through to Sunday 21 April.