LTP 2012-2022 - Introduction - Hurunui District Council

LTP 2012-2022 - Introduction - Hurunui District Council

t Long Term Plan 2012-2022

Hurunui Community Long Term Plan - 2012-2022

66 Carters Road

PO Box 13

Amberley 7441

Phone: 03 314 8816

Fax: 03 314 9181



Front Cover - Overlooking the Waiau Township from the Leader Road.


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022



5 Welcome from the Mayor and CEO

9 About the Plan

11 How Your Rates are Spent

12 Key Issues

20 Financial Strategy

32 Statement Concerning Balancing

of the Budget

34 Community Outcomes

36 Aligning Our Long Term Plan with the

Government’s Drivers for Economic


40 Water Management

43 Sustainability

Township Profiles

46 Hurunui District Profile

52 Amberley Ward Profile

55 Amuri-Hurunui Ward Profile

60 Cheviot Ward Profile

62 Glenmark Ward Profile

65 Hanmer Springs Ward Profile

Council Activities

69 Introduction

71 Water Supply

79 Sewerage

84 Roads and Footpaths

90 Stormwater and Drainage

94 Community Services and Facilities

96 Community Services

102 Property

108 Reserves

112 Environment and Safety

115 Emergency Services

119 Resource Management

122 Compliance and Regulatory


126 Waste Minimisation

130 District Promotion

135 Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

141 Governance

Financial Information

146 Financial Introduction

148 Forecasting Assumptions

153 Statement of Accounting Policies

171 Funding Impact Statement (and Rates


182 Rates System

193 Reserve Funds

198 Council Controlled Organisations

Council Policies

200 Policy Introduction

201 Development Contributions Policy

217 External Liability Management Policy

219 Investment Policy

221 Rates Remission for Biodiversity


222 Rates Remissions on Land Affected by

Natural Calamity Policy

223 Reserves Funding Policy

224 Revenue and Funding Policy

251 Significance Policy

258 Treasury Risk Management Policy

262 Internal Financing Policy


265 Representatives of our District

266 Waste Management and

Minimisation Plan Summary

268 Hurunui Waiau Zone Implimentation


270 Water and Sanitary Services

Assessment Summary

272 Levels of Service Water and Sewer

275 Rates: Sample Properties

281 Independent Auditor’s Report



5 Welcome from the Mayor and CEO

9 About the Plan

11 How Your Rates are Spent

12 Key Issues

20 Financial Strategy

32 Statement Concerning Balancing

of the Budget

34 Community Outcomes

36 Aligning Our Long Term Plan with the

Government’s Drivers for Economic


40 Water Management

43 Sustainability


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

Winton Dalley


Welcome from the Mayor and CEO

Andrew Dalziel

Chief Executive Officer

Hello everyone and welcome to Council’s Long Term Plan 2012

- 2022. In our introduction, we summarise some important

themes and points to help you gain an overall understanding of

what is in this ten year plan and what it may mean for you and

for our district.

We review our 10 year plan every three years and in the two

in-between years, we prepare Annual Plans based on the 10

year plan. We do our best to plan appropriately for the coming

years, but things will and do happen that are beyond our control,

hence the need for regular reviews. For example, no amount

of planning would have prepared us totally for the devastating

earthquakes that hit the Canterbury Region. Although the

Hurunui District suffered comparably less direct damage than

Christchurch City, Waimakariri and Selwyn Districts, the impact

on us has still been huge and had a major influence on this

plan. When we last reviewed our plan three years ago, we were

optimistic about the economy picking up more quickly than it

has done. We were optimistic that our district would grow

at a much faster pace than has actually been the case. Our

recent updated population estimate of 11,330 residents shows

low growth. With the census being postponed because of the

earthquakes, we will not be able to confirm our population

and district statistics until the results of the 2013 census are

released in 2014.

One of the most challenging aspects of planning is finding the

right balance between delivering expected levels of service at an

affordable cost. We invited you, our residents and ratepayers, to

submit on our proposals in March and April 2012. About 130

of you did just this and as a result of your input, we were able

to confirm many of our proposals and include other matters

we had not considered previously. We constantly challenge

ourselves over what is reasonable, what is sustainable into the


future, who should pay, and how to meet the expectations of

our communities. The Government has expressed concern

over high rating increases and expects councils to be restrained.

Whereas we agree, unfortunately dramatic increases in our

insurance costs, the new legislative requirement to meet New

Zealand drinking water standards, and funding sewer and

stormwater improvements, mean that we too have higher rating

increases than we would have preferred.

As a result of the Council’s decisions after considering public

submissions, the increase in the 2012/2013 year has reduced

from 6.94% (what we said in the draft Long Term Plan), down to

5.83%. The downside is the flow on effect to the 2013/2014 and

2014/2015 years’ rates which will increase from 4.80% to 5.77%

for 2013/2014 and from 4.62% to 5.37% in the 2014/2015 year.

The primary causes for the increases in our rate projections

can be attributed to the following items, all of which are further

explained in the ‘key issues’ section of this plan.

• Insurance has significantly risen as a direct result of the

Canterbury earthquakes and other natural disasters,

such as the Queensland floods. We have traditionally had

comprehensive insurance cover, and we have budgeted to

continue to do so.

• We face huge capital outlay to become compliant with the

legislated New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. The

good news is that we will no longer have any of our water

schemes on permanent boil water notices; but it comes at a

price. We will be treating the water of our at-risk drinking

water intakes in the 2012/13 year. This will enable us to be

compliant in the short term but this is only an interim step.

In the long term we will need to upgrade our schemes by

2027. To make this affordable, we will commence rating

for the estimated $14 million (in today’s dollars), in the

2015/2016 year.

• In recent years, we have incurred significant costs in

upgrading some of our water supplies, sewer schemes and

stormwater systems. The work undertaken has resulted

in increased debt for those activities and we are at a stage

where the interest and debt repayments need to be made

and these have to be funded through rates.

There are a number of other aspects that influenced the

development of this Plan. We were guided by our proposed new

vision of Community partnership in growth and wellbeing,

as well as our core principles:

• Focus on core services

• Financial responsibility and affordability

• Continuous improvement in service to everyone in our


• Facilitate appropriate growth in the district

We have confirmed this new vision through the long term

plan consultation process. It builds upon our previous vision

which was based on a ‘wellness’ concept (Hurunui Wellness:

“In Hurunui, we live the lives the rest of the world would

love to live”). We wanted to further define it and convey that

everything we do, we do in partnership with our communities.

With your support for our plan and the services, infrastructure

and facilities we provide and you pay for, we have confidence

that we will be meeting the aspirations or expectations of our

communities, which contribute to wellness and wellbeing.

Important contributors to this Plan have been the many people

in our district who are members of our boards and committees.

In particular, we have taken into account the views of the Ward

Committees and the Hanmer Springs Community Board on the

submissions received affecting each of their respective wards.

These groups, having been chosen by their local communities,

provide valuable insight into what is considered important


All submissions were considered in the context of affordability,

priorities for the district and Government’s new bill, ‘Better

Local Government’. This bill, expected to be passed around

September 2012, aims to provide better clarity about council’s

roles, stronger governance, improved efficiency and more

responsible fiscal management. The Government is concerned

about increased public spending and debt levels and is requiring

both central and local government to improve the efficiency

of delivering public services and take a prudent approach to

public debt. The new bill proposes that councils will have a new

purpose -“providing good quality local infrastructure, public

services and regulatory functions at the least possible cost to

households and business”. This will replace the current purpose

which references a responsibility to the social, economic,

environmental and cultural well-being of communities. In

addition, the Government is proposing to introduce legislation

around fiscal responsibility to limit council expenditure growth

to no faster than inflation and population growth. A strong

Hurunui 10-Year Timeline


Representation Review

Nine New Miox Water Treatment Installations

Targeted Tourism Rate and

District Promotion Review

Earthquake Prone Building Assessments

Cheviot Library Relocation

Local Government Elections

Earthquake Prone Building Assessments

Review of the District Plan completed



Central Government Elections

Earthquake Prone Building Assessments

Hanmer Springs Community Hall Extension

Long Term Plan Review

Drinking Water upgrade

Hanmer Springs Sewerage Treatment

Plant Upgrade

Hanmer Springs Sports Stadium



Local Government Elections

Cheviot Medical Centre Upgrade or



Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

message coming through is for council’s to stick to core business.

All this has an impact on what we decided to provide for now

and into the future.

Thanks to your support, we have confirmed a number of the

proposals that we put to you. For example, we will proceed

with our intent to review our method of rating for tourism

and general district promotion in 2012/13. This is one example

of where your views and suggestions have confirmed that it is

timely to review our rating model. You also told us that you

agree with our plan to assess earthquake prone commercial

and public buildings in the district sooner rather than later in

the interests of public safety, despite not being required to do

this. Likewise, through your submissions, we have been able to

confirm our direction to provide funds for legal advice relating

to resource consents, district plan changes and policy matters;

and to do our best to maintain our roading levels of service

despite there being less funding available.

Many of you submitted on local issues affecting your areas.

Through hearing from you, we have been able to confirm our

intent to: provide for a new or upgraded medical centre in

Cheviot in 2016/17; move the Cheviot community library from

the school into the Cheviot service centre in 2012/13; continue

to work with you to finalise any proposal for a swimming pool

in Amberley; enhance a number of facilities in Hanmer Springs

(eg: the sports ground and community hall); and continue our

work to secure access to the Hanmer Heritage Forest. We

also confirmed our proposal to fund the Hanmer Springs

Community Board through Hanmer Springs ratepayers (rather

than district wide rates). Few people mentioned the proposal

to build a public toilet in Rotherham in 2017/18 funded through

the district rate, but we agreed to retain the budget for this in

the meantime but will retest the need for this again in 2015

before going ahead. More information about all of these items is

in the ‘Key Issues’ section of this plan.

We received a large number of submissions about access to

the Hurunui lakes (Lake Sumner, Lake Taylor and Loch Katrine).

Although this was not something we highlighted in our draft

Plan, it was clearly of importance to many of you. Through the

submission process, we were able to confirm our intention to

continue working with other groups as well as the Department

of Conservation to help resolve the common issues affecting

access. Potentially this is a complex situation requiring not only

significant funding, but resolving issues over public and private

land ownership.

We have included into this plan, a number of other items that

came to our attention through submissions, such as: a $5,000

contribution toward the roof repair of the Balcairn Public Hall

(via Amberley amenity rates); to continue contributing $5,000

per annum via a district wide rate toward the Sport NZ Rural

Travel Fund; approved expenditure of $45,000 toward the septic

tank replacement at the Gore Bay Camp; to spend $80,000

over two years to upgrade or replace the Cheviot Hills Reserve

public toilets; to extend our Smokefree Policy to include more

outdoor areas gradually and within existing budgets; to spend

$5,000 to promote responsible dog owner behaviour later this

year; to adjust our wording in our Waste Minimisation Plan to

show our desire to work toward zero waste to landfill.

In light of the restrictions we face, we also had to say ‘no’ to a

lot of people who requested money or initiatives that required

money. Whereas these submissions had merit, they were

either out of our scope or unaffordable, particularly given the

Government’s bill, or we did not consider them to be essential

at this time. Some of the requests we declined included: $25,000

toward the Wellbeing North Canterbury’s manager’s salary;

assistance toward the aquisition of a doctor’s house in Hanmer

Springs; $7,500 per year to develop a sister city relationship

with Honghu City, China; employing a full time forest ranger

in Hanmer Springs; introducing a $5 bounty fee for possums;

contributing $25,000 toward a men’s support programme to

reduce suicide; introducing an eagle breeding programme.

As a result of the continuing downturn in the tourism industry in

Canterbury, the Council has reforecast the revenue projections

for the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. As a result, the

revenue derived from the Thermal Pools operation was reduced

from $6.671 million to 6.4 million. There was also a reduction

of $65,000 in surplus forecast from the cafe operation and a

$31,000 reduction in other revenue sources.

With the benefit of some quantity survey estimates, there was

a reassessment of the capital expenditure for the changing

rooms and administration building for the pools operation from

$1 million to $2 million.

For the first three years, the reduction in the revenue has

resulted in the Council spending more on reserve - based

expenditure than it is earning from the surpluses derived from

the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. but the Council is

comfortable in funding this from utilising some of the existing

reserve balance that has been generated by the surpluses in the


CentralGovernment Elections

Rotherham public Toilets

Local Government Elections


2017/18 2019/20

Representation Review

Long Term Plan Review


Central Government Elections

Long Term Plan Review



How Council services are rated can be contentious and difficult

to understand. We use a variety of different rating methods,

for example, we rate some services across the district and

others across wards only. We also fund some activities through

targeting particular users (as how tourism is currently funded).

The Financial Strategy and Revenue and Funding Policy in this

Plan both provide information to give a better understanding of

how activities and service are funded and the rationale behind

that. The Financial Strategy is a new requirement under the

Local Government Act.

Full details of the rate movements year by year are shown in

the Funding Impact Statement in this Plan. We must emphasise

that amenity and targeted rate increases vary considerably

across the district according to the projects planned for each

ward. For example, there are differing levels of expenditure for

upgrades and debt repayment for each water scheme; there is a

new medical centre proposed for Cheviot; a number of projects

planned for Hanmer Springs; and so on. The sample property

analysis in the appendices at the back of this document, gives a

picture of the impact of rates for the 2012/2013 year for the

various rating areas. You can find out what the rates are for your

property for any year up to year 10 of this plan by contacting us

directly or going onto our website.

Despite the increase to our rates, we have taken a conservative

approach to this plan. We assure you, as ratepayers and

residents, that we have applied our best efforts to develop this

long term plan diligently, to create what we believe is a robust

and comprehensive strategic framework for Hurunui for the

next ten years, notwithstanding the challenges and uncertainties

we all presently face. Finally, a sincere thank you to those of

you who took the time to write a submission to the draft plan

and to those of you who presented their submission personally

to the Council. As a result of your efforts, you have helped us

determine this final long term plan.


About the Plan


The Local Government Act 2002 requires all councils to have a

Long Term Plan (LTP). The Hurunui Community Long Term Plan

is our LTP.

This plan is the combined effort of Council and the district’s

community. Many of our sub committees have been actively

involved in preparing plans for their townships and wards

and their efforts are reflected in this plan. So are the views

of the many individuals who told us what they consider to be

important for the future of our district. Many people have put

considerable numbers of hours into the development of this

plan. The plan covers a 10 year period from 1 July 2012 to 30

June 2022.

Updating the Plan

This plan will be updated and revised every 3 years. The plan is

one of the main ways you can influence what the Council does

every 3 years.

In the years between each Hurunui Community Long Term Plan

review, we will prepare an Annual Plan which will focus on the

budgets of the particular year of publication. This information

will be taken from the Hurunui Community Long Term Plan.

Guide to the Plan

The following is a brief guide about the information contained in

each section of the plan.

Introduction - This section sets out key issues that we want

to bring to your attention and want to hear from you on.

This section also contains a new and important piece of this

plan – the Financial Strategy. This will tell you about our main

financial challenges and what our financial position is – how we

can afford the services that we provide and how we intend to

continue to fund these. You will find out how your rates are

spent, and the community outcomes we consider important to

our communities.

Township Profiles – Here you will find key information about

the district each ward and community rating area, including,

demographic data, key priorities and amenity rates.

Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

well as financial statements required by law.

Policies – Provides the key Council policies (including financial

policies and principles) to assist with decision making and


Appendices – This section contains various summaries of

strategies and plans that are important to include to provide

more context and information relating to our services.

Monitoring the Plan

At the end of each financial year, we complete an Annual Report.

In this report, we will state how we have performed against

what we said we were going to do in this plan and at what cost.

Changing the Plan

If any significant changes need to be made to the Hurunui

Community Long Term Plan before it is formally revised at

each three year interval, the proposed changes will be publicly

notified to give anyone affected an opportunity to have their say

before Council decides whether or not to make the proposed


Our ‘Significance Policy’ guides us in determining the importance

of an issue and the possible impact on the community. When an

issue is deemed significant, we will consider how best to consult

you. The significance policy is included in the Policy section.

The Plan Does Not Include GST

When reading this document, please be aware that all of

the figures quoted in the LTP are GST exclusive except the

‘Statement of Rating Policy’ and the ‘Development Contributions



The plan has been developed on an inflation adjusted basis

to comply with accounting standards. Details of the inflation

assumptions used are outlined on page 148.

Council Activities – Gives useful information for each Council

activity such as water, roading, community services etc, and

financial information for each activity, as well as any major

priorities or projects planned.

Financial Overview – This section is where financial

information is summarised. It gives the 10 year capital

expenditure programme and forecast financial statements as


Relationship Between the Hurunui Community Long Term Plan and Other Documents



The LTP integrates strategies, policies and activities in the

context of identified community outcomes, and in a way that

Knowing what the Council

has achieved



Knowing what is important for the

future wellbeing of our community

Knowing how it s going

to be paid for



Knowing what the Council is doing to

meet community outcomes

Hurunui Community

Long Term Plan

promotes public accountability and integrated decision making.

All planning that we do lines up with the LTP, as well as other plans,

such as our asset management plans and waste management

plans, and linking to other non-mandatory strategies such as

the Hurunui Community Road Safety Strategy.

The activities set out in this LTP contribute to the achievement

of the community outcomes, and promote the District’s social,

cultural, economic or environmental wellbeing.


How Your Rates are Spent

The Council’s Projected Income and Expenditure for 2012 / 2013

Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

Operating Income of $30.1 million for the 2012/2013 year

Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and



Other Income


General Rates


Targeted Rates for

Water Supplies


NZTA Subsidies and

Other Grants





Targeted Rates for

Other Services


Operating Expenditure of $30.3 million for the 2012/2013 year



Corporate Services


Water Supplies




Stormwater and



Roads and Footpaths


Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and



District Promotion


Waste Minimisation


Compliance and










Emergency Services





Capital Expenditure of $10.8 million for the 2012/2013 year

Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and



Corporate Services


Water Supplies




Emergency Services






Community Services


Stormwater and



Roads and Footpaths



Key Issues


In the draft long term plan, we highlighted a number of issues

that we wanted your view on before we came to a final decision.

We received many submissions on these topics and this section

sets out the decisions we made about each issue. Table 2 at the

end of this section shows how each item will be funded.

Drinking Water Standards

In recent years, the Government has placed strong emphasis

on the quality and availability of drinking water for all New

Zealanders, irrespective of where they live. The standard of

drinking water throughout the country has been variable and

in many places, particularly rural New Zealand, below standard.

New Zealand drinking water standards have been developed and

recently revised, and they require all councils to make significant

advancements to meet these standards.

Most of the drinking water in the Hurunui District fails to meet

the new drinking water standards and currently, eight of our

communities are advised to boil water before they drink it.

The drinking water standards are concerned mainly with three

specific areas: water quality; how we will know our drinking

water is meeting the standards; and what we will do about it if it

doesn’t. There are substantial fines for not complying with the

new legislation – up to $200,000 for an offence and $10,000 for

each day of continued non-compliance for each of our 22 water

supply sources.

In addition, the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007

requires all drinking water suppliers to have Public Health Risk

Management Plans (PHRMP) in place outlining how to safely

manage drinking water. This is significant because we have a duty

to ensure the drinking water we supply is safe to drink. (The

same applies for all other councils and private suppliers.) In our

district, we have 22 water supply sources and each needs its own

PHRMP to be completed at various times between July 2014 and

July 2016, depending on how each water supply is defined (based

on the number of customers each supply serves).

These requirements are financially challenging. We have no

option but to plan toward compliance, but the cost to do so is

immense. To upgrade our water systems to be fully compliant,

we have estimated that it will cost $14 million in today’s dollars,

and a further $484,000 per year solely to operate the upgraded

schemes. This caused us a great deal of concern and we have

raised the affordability issue for a small, rural council such as

ours to meet these considerable costs with the Ministry of

Health. We have come to a compromise to achieve drinking

water compliance no later than ten years after the final approval

date for each respective PHRMP, which will be between 2024

and 2027. The compromise involves two main phases to manage

the affordability issue.

First Phase

As a minimum, we will provide drinking water to our consumers

that is bacteriologically free and is safe to consume. To do this

we will need to lift all permanent boil water notices on our

current schemes. This will be achieved using improved interim

technologies to our at risk water intakes that will subsequently

meet these desired outcomes.

Therefore the first phase proposes nine new Miox installations

costing $758,000 for the 2012/2013 financial year. The at risk

drinking water intakes are: (1) Ashley Rural; (2) Waiau Rural;

(3) Cheviot – Parnassus; (4) Cheviot – Blythe; (5) Cheviot –

Kaiwara; (6) Hurunui Rural – No.1; (7) Hurunui Rural – Peaks;

(8) Hurunui Rural – Lower Waitohi; and (9) Waipara Township.

The existing MIOX plant serving the targeted Cheviot and Gore

Bay Township community will be moved to the intake to serve

and improve the full water reticulation pipeline.

This capital costs and on-going operational costs involved

is to be met by a special targeted rate for each dwelling that

benefits from the water treatment. It is estimated to cost

affected ratepayers approximately $100 per year to fund both

the operational and capital costs. This will affect an estimated

1,463 dwellings in total. We plan to stage the implementation

of this funding over three years, therefore those ratepayers will

be charged $33 in 2012/13, $66 in 2013/14, and the full $100

in 2014/15. The exception to this special targeted rate is for

the consumers on the Ashley Rural water scheme. The cost of

their Miox installation will be met solely by those properties

connected to that scheme as part of their standard, unit rate.

This is because the majority of the consumers of the Ashley

Rural Water Supply reside outside the Hurunui District and

already have a special rating arrangement in place.

All other district-wide intakes are either safe deep source

water or have not had any e-coli non-compliance over the last

three years, thus perceived as safe at present. These will be

continuously monitored for further improvement if the ‘safestatus’

changes. This approach will unfortunately not eliminate

the issue of temporary boil water notices from time to time,

when tested and triggered e-coli contamination is related to

post-intake drinking-water pipeline breaches, e.g. pipe breaks,


Second Phase

The second phase involves the upgrading of the water schemes

to full compliance, and will mean the end to the Miox treatments.

The capital cost in today’s money is $14 million, and we plan to

implement this between 2024 and 2027. To manage the cost,

this will be funded through a district wide general rate. This

is different to how we currently fund water supplies, which

is through targeted rates for individual schemes. We do not

believe the targeted method of funding is possible or a fair way of


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

funding for any of our ratepayers to upgrade our drinking water

to legislated standards. There are simply too few people on the

smaller community schemes in particular, to be able to pay for

these upgrades. By funding via a district wide rate, the cost is

spread across all ratepayers, hence making it more affordable

and achievable over all. This does mean that everyone pays,

whether or not on a private water scheme.

Although the capital works required won’t start being built until

2024, we are going to start rating from 2015/16 to build up

funds which will offset the full capital cost when it is necessary.

The cost of this will be $41 per property and this rate fund,

along with accumulating interest, should provide a fund of

approximately $3 million to assist with meeting the capital cost.

The method by which the balance of the capital work and the

on-going operational costs will be met, will be refined over time.

This will again be a topic for discussion when we review our

long term plan again in 2015.

Sewer Improvements

Disposal of treated wastewater direct to waterways has been

a common practice nationally in the past, but this approach is

no longer considered sustainable or environmentally acceptable.

In our district, we have seven wastewater treatment plants

using oxidation ponds as an effluent treatment process. These

treatment plants are located at Amberley, Hanmer Springs,

Cheviot, Greta Valley, Motunau Beach, Hawarden and Waikari.

We are going to do more work to our Hanmer Springs

wastewater treatment plant so that the treated wastewater

is disposed onto land instead of into the waterway (which

is a resource consent condition). We are investigating the

best options available to us in Hanmer Springs for both land

acquisition and improved effluent treatment. The cost for this

sewer land disposal work is $1,200,000 factored into year

2015/16 and will be paid for by the Hanmer Springs Ward

ratepayers. Other planned work includes improving dissolved

oxygen levels in the treatment ponds to eliminate issues such

as odour and reduced treatment efficiencies. For this work we

plan to spend $220,000 in 2012/13.

Cheviot’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) disposal

system is spray irrigation to land or onto the overland flow area

when the land disposal area is saturated. We are investigating

possible long-term treatment options (long term capacities; soil

permeability and content analysis; seasonal effects, flow/water

quality/ecology of Crystal Brook and neighbouring groundwater

quality assessments) associated with treatment and disposal of

wastewater from the Cheviot WWTP. We will work with the

Canterbury Regional Council to agree on the best solution

going forward in 2012/13. This plant’s resource consent expires

11 September 2014, when the Canterbury Regional Council will

decide if improvements are required to renew this resource

consent. No disposal to waterways is allowed. We are planning

to pay for this through usual operating costs at no increase to


Amberley and Waikari have existing treated effluent disposal

to land, with Greta Valley and Motunau Beach using a primary

option of disposal to land and secondary option to waterway

when the land is saturated, for example, seasonal wet weather

conditions. Hawarden’s system is disposal to waterway until

changes are effected through the resource consent renewal,

which will be in 2027 or subject to any new requirements under

the Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP) review currently

underway at Canterbury Regional Council. We will consider

more natural methods of disposal, such as wetland filtration

if proven feasible and cost effective. All systems are closely

monitored and audited by the Canterbury Regional Council for

compliance with stringent consent conditions to protect and

enhance the environment surrounding these treatment plants.

Stormwater Improvements

We have been working on a programme of stormwater

improvements to the Amberley township and Amberley

and Leithfield Beach communities since 2008 when we had

significant property flooding following high rainfall events.

The improvements have taken a disappointingly long time

to implement due to the resource consent process and

Environment Court hearings process. So far, only two major

physical works have been completed – the flood diversion

from Dock Creek along Lawcocks Road, and a piped outfall of

the Leithfield Outfall Drain to the sea. By the time this plan

is finalised, the flood diversion works in the Amberley swamp

area (to include an outlet culvert under Stanton Rd) and the

area from Dry Gully to the Mimimoto Lagoon will have been

completed, as well as the new pipelines in Amberley.

A flood flow diversion from the Eastern Drain across to the

Amberley North lagoon is planned in 2012/13 to complete the

flood mitigation works. Detailed design and land ownership

issues still have to be finalised. $294,000 has been budgeted for

this work (to do detention ponds and upgrades), with a further

$84,000 in the 2016/17 budget for Chamberlain Park filters.

This will be funded through a special rate across Amberley Ward.

Applications for global consents to discharge stormwater from

the Amberley urban area and new residential developments in

Hanmer Springs will be made in the 2012/13 year. Both of these

will be funded via a separate rate for the Amberley Wards and

Hanmer Springs as well as development contributions.

We will be recruiting a stormwater engineer in 2013/2014 to

manage this area of our work. This engineer will be responsible

for developing district-wide stormwater catchment and

management plans, and undertake the range of tasks required to

ensure we have effective stormwater systems in place, inclusive

of appropriate maintenance regimes.


Targeted Tourism Rate and District Promotion

Our tourism promotion and limited district promotion is

currently carried out through one of our council committees

called the ‘Hurunui Tourism Board’. The way we fund this is

through a ‘targeted tourism rate’ which has had its share of

controversy. Those who pay are ratepayers and businesses

who are deemed to be involved directly in the visitor / tourism

sector. From this sector, we collect $286,000 annually with an

additional contribution of $45,000 from the Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and Spa. We are concerned that we don’t yet

have the funding model right and intend to review the targeted

tourism rate and explore ways of funding a broader concept of

‘district promotion’ or tourism in a different way.

We think we can better promote the district in all aspects by

adopting a broader approach, rather than just focusing only on

tourism. The issue of who benefits from district promotion and

who should fund it is a challenging issue and we want to develop

a better way to do this. We will continue with the targeted

tourism rate up to the end of the 2012/13 (and have included it

throughout the 10 year budget for the meantime), to allow time

for a viable alternative to be developed.

Having taking into account the submissions we received on

this topic, we will look at how we might phase out the current

targeted tourism rate in 2013/14 when a new model would take

effect. We will begin working on this before the end of 2012

around what a possible alternative model would look like. This

will include looking at how to improve our promotion of the

district. At this stage, we are unsure whether this new model

will retain the Hurunui Tourism Board, or see the development

of a new committee or board. We will continue with what we

have in the meantime until an alternative is found.

Cost of Insurance

It will be no surprise to anyone that the cost of insurance has

significantly risen as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. The

damage to Christchurch in particular and the resulting insurance

liability has been unprecedented anywhere in the world before.

It is now well known that globally, the insurance industry had

to have a major rethink of how it could continue to provide

insurance cover and still be affordable. Given that the Hurunui

District is tectonically active and we are periodically subjected

to floods, rural fires, snow and winds, we have traditionally been

well insured and cover our infrastructure and liabilities.

Up until July 2011, the cost of our insurance was $212,858 per

annum. This is the total bill for all Council infrastructure and

liabilities, including the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.

Our new insurance arrangement now costs $564,414 per year

to cover the same infrastructure as we did in the past. This

significantly contributes to our 5.84% increase in rates as the

approximate increase in insurance across the organisation of

$350,000 alone represents 2.73% of the total rates that were

struck in the 2011/2012 year.

The process for renewing the insurance policies is likely to be

more stringent in the future and there could be the possibility

that some of our assets may not be covered by insurance, as has

been the case for Christchurch City and Waimakariri District

Councils for the 2011/2012 year. It is our intention to remain

fully insured at all times.

Earthquake Strengthening

We have completed the first stage of a desktop review of

potential earthquake prone buildings in the Hurunui district for

all council owned buildings and are now currently carrying out

the second stage which will include all privately owned buildings.

The desk top review should be completed by December 2012.

The completed desk top study will show how many commercial

and public buildings in the district are suspected to be earthquake

prone. At this early stage we have provisional numbers of 368

commercial buildings, both privately and council owned. 150

are estimated to be built before 1976, and up to 90 of them are

suspected to be earthquake prone, and therefore could pose a

potential danger to the public. We own 68 of the commercial

and public buildings built before 1976 and of these, we have

confirmed 48 that are included on the first stage of the desktop

study. Engineers are currently carrying out an initial evaluation

procedure (IEP) of some of these buildings which will confirm

whether or not they are earthquake prone.

The desk top review will only provide information about

buildings without looking at them in a detailed structural

manner. There are certain types of building that are considered

to be more earthquake prone than others and it is these that

we will be focusing on. They are usually unreinforced concrete

and masonry buildings, but there may be others that are also at

risk. The assessment process will be carried out in accordance

with the Earthquake Engineering Society of New Zealand

guidelines. We will need qualified engineers to actually assess

each of these buildings to confirm to us whether or not the

building is potentially earthquake prone and that owners should

be advised. To do this IEP assessment (without any actual repairs

or remedial work), it will cost approximately $69,000 to do

90 earthquake prone buildings spread evenly over the first 3

years of the Long Term Plan. We are taking an active approach

to identify and upgrade buildings at risk following the lessons

learned from the Christchurch earthquakes. Obviously, we do

not want a repeat of that disaster in our district.

Once we have the IEP assessments from the independent

engineers, we will then be able to inform property owners that

we suspect that their building is earthquake prone. They will

then be required to carry out a detailed engineering assessment

to show how to remedy any risks to the building. Because most

of the buildings are council owned, the same will apply to us. At

this stage, we have not made a budget provision for any actual

strengthening, repair or demolition work. We plan to decide

on this once we have the information on a case by case basis.


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

Other owners of buildings will need to do the same once they

have information provided to them. There is of course, nothing

stopping anyone getting their own independent assessment at

their own cost in the meantime, or seeking a second opinion.

We do not have the in-house expertise to perform this work.

We do know that structural engineers are highly sought after

in the Canterbury region and we are making this plan on the

proviso that we will be able to contract the skills we need to

undertake this work.

We consider this work to be vital because of the threat to life

if buildings collapse. The cost for this work will be paid for this

through the general rate for three years from 2012/13 because

of the potential impact on the general public. The general rate is

funded through a portion being assessed as a fixed charge per

property and the balance assessed on the capital value of the


Cost to Defend RMA/Court Action

Each year we need to get legal advice or representa tion, or

specialist advice about a variety of matters relating to resource

consents, district plan changes and policy de velopment.

Traditionally, we have tended to under-budget for these costs

as many of them are unknown when we prepare our annual

budgets. However, last year we were aware of a number of

situations that were going to incur legal or consultancy costs

and we did make a budget provision based on that knowledge.

Although we will continue to face unexpected legal costs into

the future, we have decided to continue to budget what we did

last year for each year of the long term plan, that is, $105,000

(adjusted for inflation) annually. This will be funded through a

District Rate. There will be situations where legal costs are far

in excess of our budget. The most recent example of this was

the cost to defend MainPower’s Mt Cass Wind Farm resource

consent. The cost to ratepayers was approximately $300,000

(allowing for the successful costs award against Mainpower

from the Environment Court of $136,394). Legal and specialist

advice comes at a price and we do not always have in-house

expertise for every scenario that comes to us.

Road Funding

Our roads are maintained and built using subsidy funds from

New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and money collected

through rates. This excludes state highways which are funded

and maintained solely through NZTA. Three years ago,

central government deliberately cut maintenance funding to

all district councils, as it decided to focus on capital works to

national state highways (Roads of National Significance) and

the Auckland roading network needs as priorities. Central

government believes that “increased funding for State Highway

construction will bring benefits for national economic growth

and productivity, particularly given that State Highways carry

most inter-regional freight and link major ports, airports and

urban areas (Government Policy Statement 2012)

In 2009, all Road Controlling Agencies (RCA), of which we are

one, were told by the Minister of Transport to “do more with

less” in terms of road maintenance financial subsidy allocations.

We were tasked to find better and smarter ways of looking

after our roads without relying on the previous levels of NZTA

subsidy funding. To qualify for financial subsidy assistance, all

RCA’s are to use Activity Management Plans (AMP). When up

to date, our AMP provides us with a better understanding of our

current assets in terms of location, age and condition. This sets

our works programme for the following three years in terms

of maintenance, operations, renewals and capital works. This

programme is submitted to NZTA as part of the Regional Land

Transport Programme (RLTP). Our funding was cut by $600,000

per annum on average on our RLTP for the full funding cycle

covering the years from 2009 to 2012. Although the approved

subsidy funding was 4.5% more than the previous year’s budget,

it was substantially less than that required to maintain the

levels of service we wanted for our roading infrastructure. No

escalation (or inflation) was added for year 2 and 3 of this

programme which placed further pressure for us to “do more

with less”. In the meantime, we have restructured our road

maintenance contracts to get the most we can for our money

and to maintain levels of service for our local roads. Indicative

budgets have been released by NZTA for the three year period

from 2012 to 2015, which is 5% less than our RLTP submission.

This will result in approximately $226,000 less funding per

annum across all three years. We will continue to retain our

funding as previously indicated as unsubsidised work and the

rate impact for roading will continue as previously stated in the

plan. We have made the assumption that the reduced level of

NZTA funding will continue through the life of the LTP. This has

left us with a major challenge. Our Asset Management Plans

(AMPs) tell us when, how and why we need to do work on

each of our roads to ensure maximum whole-of-life for this

asset (maximum return on investment approach); but we do not

have the required subsidised income to maintain our roading

network to the level our AMPs stipulate.

We have done our best to drive greater efficiencies within

our current road maintenance contracts, without affecting the

current levels of service. The improved collaboration between

our contractors, suppliers and us using a ‘best-for-asset/bestfor

contract’ approach, has provided lower contract rates

that may allow us to maintain our current service levels until

2014/15 (assuming no untoward event happens that damages

our infrastructure). At the end of this period, our maintenance

contracts will be renewed with cost escalations included. This

is where we have a problem. NZTA have declared that they

will not pick up contract price escalations through their road

maintenance subsidy scheme. In the meantime, we have allowed

for inflation adjustments to the roading costs (using the inflation

assumptions) and also assumed that NZTA will continue to

meet their share of those costs that are currently subsidised,


again based on the assumption that the financial assistance

rate will not change over the ten year period.

If NZTA do not include inflation in future subsidies, and maintain

the levels of cuts to date we will have to pass the difference in

costs to our ratepayers annually to maintain our current levels

of service and keep the road asset life in check. If we don’t,

this will leave us with a future financial shortfall that is further

susceptible to maintenance cost increases through peak oil and

bitumen cost increases in particular. We can either continue

to put up our annual rates to provide more local unsubsidised

funds to keep our roads in their current condition, or we can

accept that there will be a marked deterioration in our road

conditions (structurally, appearance and driving quality). The

impact of this is that our roading assets life will reduce and will

eventually devalue over time, thus not meet their initial designed

criteria outcomes.

The key problem that we face is that the level of cost that has

been allowed for in the Long Term Plan falls significantly short

of what was provided for in the AMP. The AMP was developed

prior to the change in central government policy and before we

were able to achieve greater efficiencies through our current

road maintenance contracts. The difference over the ten years

between what was scheduled in the AMP and what has been

provided in the plan amounts to a total of $18 million. Based on

the assumption that NZTA will provide the amount of subsides

allowed for in the plan, should we incur the level of cost in

the AMP, then that additional $18 million would need to be

covered by rates or other funding sources . We are confident

with achieving greater efficiencies in the current contracts so

that the roading network can be maintained at the current level

of service until 2014/15. Through submissions to the draft LTP,

some of you told us that you consider it essential that we do all

we can to prevent the roads deteriorating, even if that meant

paying more rates. To continue to meet the current level of

service, now and into the future, may require greater ratepayer

funding or a change to the current accepted levels of service.

This topic will be an ongoing discussion for us into future years

including the next long term plan review in 2015 and AMP

roading review 2014.

Amberley Swimming Pool

The life of the Amberley swimming pool and our awareness of

the community desire for an improved pool, whether that is

a major upgrade or a new facility, have been of interest to us

for some years now. Through the submisssions to the draft LTP,

we received 23 submissions on this subject with the majority

supporting this community desire. In 2008, we did a review

of the life-expectancy and replacement costs of the Amberley

swimming pool and concluded that the present pool was good

for at least 10 more years. In the 2009 long term plan draft,

we allowed $3 million in the 2018/19 financial year to build a

new heated, covered pool. The rating model to pay for the this,

allocated the greater costs to the Amberley Ward, and a lesser

amount to outlying areas on the basis of an assumption of usage

beyond Amberley. Consultation on this matter then, gained good

public support for the proposal, and it was decided to advance

the project to the 2013/14 year. The budget provision was made

on the basis that $1 million of the $3 million would be derived

from fund raising and that the Amberley community would take

the responsibility for this.

Three years have since passed and no fund raising activities have

taken place. Nor have we collected any rates to build up a fund

for a future pool. The Amberley Ward Committee established

a working group in 2011 to investigate the possibilities

for the Amberley swimming pool and to come up with a

recommendation to best suit the needs of the community. The

working group concluded that the site of the existing pool is

the best available and so commissioned a specialist engineer’s

report on options to upgrade the present complex. This was

undertaken in early 2012. The resulting suggestions include a

major upgrade of the existing pool costing just under $2 million

which is well within the original $3 million budget. However, the

estimated operational cost of running an all year heated pool,

amounts to between $260,000 and $340,000 per year. This is

after taking into account the entry fees, swimming lessons and

other revenue making pool activities.

Although the community desire is to have a heated indoor

pool that can operate either all year round, or at least most

of the year, the operational cost is significant and exceeds any

previous thinking about how much it would cost to actually

run the pool. Very few public swimming pools in New Zealand

make a profit or break even, and they are reliant on significant

subsidies from rates to operate. The Amberley ward ratepayers

have traditionally met the operational cost from amenity rates.

However, the estimates for running an improved, heated, all year

round pool is likely to exceed Amberley ratepayers ability or

desire to pay, and is substantially more than they pay now. There

is more work ahead for the working group, the Amberley Ward

Committee and the Council before a proper proposal with all

the facts is able to be put to the community.

For these reasons, we have decided to not make a budget

provision in this long term plan at this stage. We have requested

a report to come to a council meeting in the 2012/13 year to

explore options and costings for an upgraded pool. If supported,

our intention is to include a proposal for an upgraded pool

and funding model into the 2015/25 Long Term Plan. In the

meantime, we have an expectation that those wanting an

improved pool become involved and commence fund raising.

The Amberley Ward Committee and the rest of the district will

need to have the opportunity to say what they are prepared

to fund before we can decide who should pay. We intend to

properly consult with you over this matter. For us to have the

confidence to make a significant budget provision, we need to

be able to give you the full story on the cost, who will pay and

what you will get for your money. In the meantime, we have

budgeted for the continued operation of the current swimming

pool on the assumption that it may still be operational up to

2020, depending on what is decided before then.


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

Cheviot Library/Service Centre

We received a large number of submissions regarding moving the

Cheviot community library out of the Cheviot Area School and

into the Cheviot Service Centre on the main street of Cheviot.

Several of you were not in favour of this option, but many of

you did endorse this concept. We endorsed the Cheviot Ward

Committee’s recommendation that the library is moved. This

will enable the library and council services to be delivered from

the one site by one person. The school library will remain in its

current location.

The service centre has not had an upgrade for years and

therefore needs some alterations and refurbishment to create

a more vibrant community space. A working group comprising

of a mix of local Cheviot people has been selected to work on

the detail of the move and to create a new look for the service

centre / library to capture the unique essence of Cheviot and

provide a service to meet the needs of the locals. Detail such

as the opening hours, days of the week to be open, design of

the interior and exterior of the building, etc are to be worked

through. The timetable for the project will also need to be

worked through, but it is planned take place in the 2012/13 year.

$100,000 has been set aside for the building alterations which

will not incur an increase in rates.

Cheviot Medical Centre

We own four medical buildings in the District – in Hanmer

Springs, Rotherham, Waikari and Cheviot. We originally got

involved in this area years ago to help attract qualified medics

into the district to take up private practices without the

deterrent of capital cost, and provide health services that are

of a good quality, affordable and meet the needs of our rural

communities. This is an on-going challenge as attracting doctors

and nurses who are prepared to work and live in rural New

Zealand is an issue that Hurunui does not face alone. Times

have changed and the ideal of finding General Practitioners

wanting to set up practice in a rural community and stay for

life (and work alone) has become unsustainable. However

important considerations for future planning still include having

high quality medical facilities and a strong network of medical

practitioners and providers to support each other.

Whereas we do not recruit medical staff for the district, we

believe we do have a role to provide medical facilities and

assist in facilitating good outcomes. We regularly meet with

key providers of medical services for the District, including the

Canterbury Rural Primary Health Organisation, Canterbury

District Health Board and local practitioners, etc. These

discussions help us keep up with the issues our GPs and medical

centres are facing and helps us work together to find solutions.

One of the areas we are able to assist is building medical centres

that cater for current and future demand.

Three of our current medical centres are modern, while Cheviot

requires an upgrade or replacement in the near future. This

upgrade has been signalled by its inadequacy to deliver modern

health care into the future. We have allocated $1 million (to

be inflation adjusted) in year 2016/17 to build a new one. The

project will be funded by an internal loan and servicing of the

loan over 20 years is proposed that this be funded through the

Cheviot Medical Centre Rate which is charged to each property

in the Cheviot Ward. This will result in the Cheviot Medical

Centre Rate moving from approximately $30 per ratepayer

to $120 per ratepayer from 2016/17. Some submissions were

received on this topic and all supported improving the Cheviot

Medical Centre. There is still work to be done before a rebuild

or upgrade is undertaken to make sure this is good use of your

money. We will want to be confident that a new building is

needed as opposed to upgrading the current facility, and we also

need to be sure that this is what the community needs. Further

consultation will be done closer to the time before any work

is done.

Rotherham Public Toilet

We have purchased a section on the main road through

Rotherham adjacent to the new Amuri Medical Centre, for a

village green. The section is ideally suited to a public toilet for

motorists passing through Rotherham en-route to the Inland

Road. For motorists travelling to Kaikoura from the West

Coast, this would be the first public toilet since Springs Junction

(i.e. without detouring into remote sites such as Boyle River

or to Hanmer Springs). A toilet on this section will also be

useful for local residents using the village green for picnics or

recreation (playground) or on their way to or from the Health

Centre. This is a long term proposal as we intend building the

toilet in the 2017/18 year. Because it is a long way off and we are

not certain of the demand in this location, we will seek public

views on this proposal again when we review this long term

plan in 2015. In the meantime, $90,000 has been included in the

budget to be funded through the District Rate.

Hanmer Springs Facilities

1. Sports Ground

The Hanmer Springs Community Board intends to upgrade the

Hanmer Springs sports ground as it is out of date and will not

meet the needs for future growth and demand. Before doing

any work however, the Board will commission an engineer’s

report on the project to determine the extent of works that

can be carried out. They plan to commission this in 2012/13

to prepare for the physical works to be done in 2015/16. The

report will more accurately scope the project including whether

the project is staged over more than one year. The estimated

cost involved is $30,000 for the engineers report, and $1 million

for the actual development work.

The engineers report will cover the feasibility of including the

following facilities in the upgrade:

• A full basketball size court that can cater for

other indoor sports such as badminton, volleyball,

bowls, netball etc

• A ground floor kitchen facility able to cater for


conferences, weddings, sports club functions, etc

for up to 500 people

• A bar that also provides for the above

• A storage area that will hold equipment, chairs,

tables, and other items used for group functions

• Toilet facilities to serve people using the sports

stadium inside and out

• Area/s suitable for meetings, lounge and

relaxation area, and an administration office

• Changing facilities for sports teams including

shower blocks

• Two Squash courts

• A gymnasium area

There was a support through the submissions for an upgraded

sports ground. Because the Board is not prepared to spend

more than $1 million, this may mean they need to prioritise

what is included in the upgrade. Affordability will be a key


2. Community Hall Extension

The Hanmer Springs Community Board will proceed with the

previously planned extension to the Hanmer Springs community

hall and has allocated $194,400 to do this in 2014/15. They will

spend $10,000 in 2012/13 to finish the work on the existing

stage floor and frontage that users of the hall have been asking


The extension to the community hall is planned to include:

• Upgrading the existing toilets on either side of

the stage

• Replacing the existing changing rooms with

a large, open, multipurpose space that can be

partitioned off to create several changing rooms

as required. The open area can also be used for

art displays, meetings, etc, as well as changing

rooms for performances.

• A storage area for lighting, sound, stage props, etc

• Entry access for wheelchairs and large items (for

stage productions, etc)

As with the Hanmer Springs sports ground upgrade, the Board

will do its best to maximise the budget so that the extension to

the hall caters for future demand as well as the current demand,

but do not expect to go beyond the allocated budget. Once

again, support for this project was received, particularly from

Hanmer Springs residents.

Funding the Hanmer Springs Community Board

The Hanmer Springs Community Board members are elected

every three years in line with the local authority triennial

election process. There are 6 Board members, with five being

elected on the Board, and the 6 th member being the appointed

local Councillor.

The selected members are paid an amount determined by Council

in consultation with the Community Board. The Councillor is

not remunerated for being on the Community Board as he is

paid as a Councillor through the Council remuneration pool.

The selected members are paid 50% from amenity rates (from

Hanmer Springs Ward ratepayers) and 50% funded as part of

the cost of Governance through the Governance Rate, which

is a District Wide Rate. The members, current remuneration is

shown in table 1.

The Community Board works for the Hanmer Springs Ward

residents and ratepayers. Consequently, we think it appropriate

that all of their remuneration is paid through local amenity

rates from Hanmer Springs ratepayers, rather than a portion

coming from the District Wide Rate. We have four Ward or

Community Committees set up in other Wards that operate in

a similar way to a Community Board, with similar delegations,

but members are not paid. Therefore, we have decided that the

Hanmer Springs community will fund the total remuneration

for the Community Board. Based on the current level of

remuneration paid to the Community Board Members, the total

cost to the Hanmer Springs Amenities Rates will be $23,178 per

annum commencing from 2012/13.

Security of Access to Hanmer Forest Tracks

The Hanmer Forest is a significant tourism asset to the district.

It is estimated that 70% of visitors to the Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and Spa (approximately 511,000 people) visit the

forest each year. Public access to the forest has been provided

for since the early 1900s resulting in the development of an

extensive recreational track network. Legal public access to the

forest was lost when ownership of the land was transferred to

Ngai Tahu. The continuance of the current informal public access

depends on the goodwill of the Iwi and the forest leaseholder.

The Hanmer Forest covers 9212 hectares in area and is

comprised of native forest, exotic production and research

forests, and public parks and reserves. The forest adjoins the

Hanmer Springs urban boundary and extends north to the

Hanmer Range ridgeline, Mt Isobel, Jollies Pass and Jacks Pass;

east to Boundary Stream; south to the Hanmer River; and west

to the Rogerson River catchment and Mt Tabletop.

Ngai Tahu Forest Estates Ltd are the largest landowner at nearly

55%, the Department of Conservation (DOC) manages 45%,

and HDC less than 1%. Although the minor landowner, the HDC

land provides critical linkages from the Hanmer Springs village

via Conical Hill and the 22ha Dog Stream/Brooke Dawson/

Tarndale reserves adjacent to the forest.

There has been some community concern that access to the

Ngai Tahu land can be closed at any time by the landowner.

However, Ngai Tahu have expressed their commitment to

Hanmer Springs and agree how important the tracks are. They

have indicated that they want to be part of future development


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

of the township and future planning for the Hurunui district, and

are prepared to work with us over the forest’s long term use. A

number of submissions were received on this matter supporting

our intention to work toward securing long term use to the

forest. A representative group of Councillors has been identified

to progress further discussion with the owners of the forest to

find a way forward. No funding has been allocated.

Table 1: Community Board Members Remuneration



Chair of the Community Board

$7,902 pa

Other Members (each)

$3,819 pa

Table 2: Funding the Key Issues

Issue Cost Method of Funding Commencement

Drinking Water Standards

$14,000,000 Capex

$484,000 Opex

District Wide 2015/16

Miox & new water treatment $758,000 Targeted to Dwellings affected 2012/13

Hanmer Springs Sewer Improvements $220,000


Hanmer Springs Sewer Rate 2012/13


Targeted Tourism Rate $286,000 Targeted Tourism Rate on-going

Insurance $550,000 Spread across organisation 2012/13

Earthquake Strengthening $71,162 District Wide Rates 2012 - 2015

RMA/Court Action $105,000 District Wide Rates 2012/13

Cheviot Library/Service Centre $100,000 District Wide funding 2012/13

Cheviot Medical Centre $1,150,700 Cheviot Medical Centre Rates 2016/17

Hanmer Springs Sport Stadium $1,077,379 Amenity Rates and

Development Contributions


Hanmer Springs Community Hall Extension $194,400 Hanmer Springs Amenity Rate 2014/15

Rotherham Public Toilet $90,000 District Wide funding for

Public Toilets


Hanmer Springs Community Board

$23,178 Hanmer Springs Amenity Rate 2012/13

Amberley Swimming Pool

$0 No budget allocated yet


Financial Strategy

Executive Summary

Core Principles

In reviewing the Long Term Plan (LTP), we revised our core

principles and these have been used as the basis in developing

our Financial Strategy. These principles are:

• Focus on core services

• Financial responsibility and affordability

• Continuous improvement in service to everyone in our


• Facilitate appropriate growth in the district

• Maximise Thermal Pools and Spa profit

Key Factors in our Financial Strategy

Within the context of our core principals, the following have

been identified as the key factors that shape the Financial

Strategy over the life of the Long Term Plan:

• We want to ensure that our services remain affordable

• We want to maintain or improve our current levels of


• Our key funding mechanisms are:

a Rates, both District Wide and Targeted rates

b Surpluses derived from the Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and Spa

c The use of the Internal Financing structure which

provides internal loans for communities requiring

funding and also an avenue for communities to build

up funds to meet funding requirements in the future

In taking care to ensure that our services remain affordable,

we have had modest rate increases over the past three years.

However, due to various factors facing us, particularly the

increased cost of insurance and compliance with drinking water

standards, rates will increase at levels well above what was

anticipated when the 2009-2019 LTP was prepared. (Refer to

the Key Issues section).

We are carefully monitoring our levels of service for roads

due to reduced government subsidies (refer to Key Issues

section). With the exception of roading, we intend to maintain

our levels of service in most areas. With regards to improving

drinking water levels, treatment of sewage and developing some

community facilities, we will be in a position to improve the

levels of service that we are currently providing. We also aim

for continuous improvement to our customer service.

We continually review funding options available. The use of

the internal financing structure allows communities to carry

out required capital expenditure and manage the cost of those

works over a longer period. As a result, this smoothes out the

rating impact and allows communities to start setting aside

funds to meet the capital projects for the future.

The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa is a successful

Council owned business and we proactively use the profits to

offset costs relating to the reserves in the District which results

in lessening the rating burden. For the first three years of the

Long Term Plan the Council is funding more reserve based costs

than it is earning from the surpluses from the Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools & Spa and by doing so, is utilising some of the

reserve balance that has been generated by the surpluses in

the past.

Our Financial Position at the Start of the LTP


Our financial position at the start of the Long Term Plan period

is set out in the 2011/2012 Annual Plan which shows:

• The total rates were set at $12.8 million; of which $5.3

million are in District Wide rates and $7.5 million are

in targeted rates.

• Total income from non-rate sources was $16.9 million,

which includes $9.6 million in gross revenue derived

from the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.

• Total Operating Expenditure is forecast at $23.5 million

and Capital expenditure for the 2011/2012 year is

expected to be $9.2 million (which includes a level of

Capital that has been carried over from the 2010/2011


• External Debt was expected to be $13.5 million at

the end of June 2012; however, the forecast has been

reduced to $12.5 million due to deferring some projects

as part of the LTP budget preparation.

• Internal Financed Debt is expected to total $16.6

million as at 30 June 2012.

• Total Assets as at 30 June 2011 was $335 million, of

which $253 million related to our infrastructure.

Our Financial Position at the End of the LTP Period

As at the end of June 2022, the key components of our financial

position are forecast as follows:

• Total rates revenue will increase by 55% over the ten

years to reach $19.9 million in the 2021/2022 year.

• Total income from non-rate sources will be $22.3

million (including $13.8 million in gross revenue derived

from the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa).

• Total Operating Expenditure will be set at $39.6 million.

• Capital expenditure over the ten years will amount to

$77.3 million with the amount expected to be required

in the 2021/2022 year at $7.7 million.

• External Debt will peak at $22.5 million in the 2015/2016

and 2016/2017 years, but will reduce to $12 million by

June 2022.


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

• Total Assets as at 30 June 2022 is expected to reach

$494 million.

Rates, Increases and Limits

The overall rates increases for the next three years are as


• In 2012/2013, the increase is 5.83% (this is one of the

largest increases required for some years and is primarily

due to factors outlined earlier such as insurance and

drinking water, and funding some significant capital

expenditure projects over the last few years).

• In 2013/2014, the increase is 5.77%

• In 2014/2015, the increase is 5.37%

The Local Government Act now requires Councils to set limits

on rate increases. Because a simple inflation target as the basis

for setting a rate increase limit does not reflect the forecast

costs that will be imposed on us, we have opted to set the

rates increase limits at 2% above the forecast increases. As a

result, the limit for the 2013/2014 year will be 7.77% and for the

2014/2015 year, the limit will be 7.37%

Because of our rating structure, the overall increase in rates

will not be consistent for each property throughout the district.

It will depend on the targeted rates that are charged to that

particular property and also the capital value of the property.

External Debt and Limits

1. The Local Government Act also requires us to set a limit on

our external debt levels. These debt levels are set out in our

External Liability Management policy on page 217 and the

limits are based on ratios centred on the level of income.

These ratios are considered standard for the sector and the

maximum debt is set at 100% of our Total Income and 10%

of our Total Equity. This means that for the 2012/2013 year,

where total income is forecast at $30.3 million and Total

Equity forecast at $341.7 million, that the maximum level of

debt is $30.3 million. For 2012/2013, the anticipated level

of debt is $18.5 million. We plan to be well within prudent

limits for the period of the plan.

Implications of the Council’s Financial Strategy

The Local Government Act requires us to assess whether we

have the ability to provide and maintain existing levels of services

and meet additional demands for services within the rates and

debt limits as set out within the financial strategy.

We face potential issues in the future regarding the level of

funding for roading expected from the New Zealand Transport

Agency (NZTA). We estimate that there is a $15 million

difference over the ten year period of the LTP between what

our Asset Management Plans tell us is needed to maintain our

roading network and what we have built into this draft LTP

taking into account the NZTA funding. (See the Roads and

Footpaths Activity section on page 84).

We are not contemplating taking on debt greater than $22.5

million and the maximum amount of interest expected to be

charged on the external debt is budgeted at less than $1.3

million. Therefore, with the exception of the Roading Network

due to circumstances outlined earlier, we believe we have the

ability to maintain existing target levels of service and to meet

additional demands for service within those debt limits.

Core Principles

Our revised core principles have provided the base in developing

our Financial Strategy for this LTP. These are further explained

in this section.

1. Focus on Core Services

The focus on core services is consistent with the intent of the

Local Government Act. As a rural district, our focus has always

been on key infrastructure – roading, water and sewerage. Since

2008 after sever flood events, we have undertaken significant

work to improve our stormwater and drainage assets. While

community services and facilities (eg: halls, libraries, public

toilets, reserves etc), may not be seen as essential services, they

do form an important part of the community infrastructure.

We have undertaken significant community projects in the last

three years including the town centre upgrades in both Hanmer

Springs and Amberley, as well as constructing a new Medical

Centre in Rotherham.

2. Financial Responsibility and Affordability

Affordability of rates was a key aspect in the preparation of the

2009-2019 LTP and in that respect; we managed to maintain

modest increases in the rates over the subsequent three year

period. In preparing the 2012/22 LTP, affordability is still an

important factor as well as spending responsibly to minimise

rate increases. Costs do increase and we are ever mindful of the

need to ensure that these costs are appropriately funded, while

ensuring our debt levels remain manageable.

3. Continuous Improvement in Service to Everyone

in Our District

In the context of affordability, we aim to improve our customer

service to everyone who needs our services. This includes

our residents and ratepayers, as well as visitors to our district.

Our annual resident satisfaction survey provides us with good

information to gauge how we are doing and where to improve.

Whereas actual levels of service in most cases are intended on

being maintained, our aim for continuous improvement relates


to getting the best out of our contracts for service, having

helpful friendly staff, being responsive to complaints and service

requests by getting back to customers quickly, etc. Regarding

actual levels of service, these are discussed under the ‘Key

Factors for Our Financial Strategy’ part of this section.

4. Facilitate Appropriate Growth in the District

We want our district to continue to grow and that not only will

more people want to live in the Hurunui, but that those who are

here already, will want to stay. Growth in our population helps

spread rates across a wider number of ratepayers and helps to

retain key services, such as medical services, schools and shops,


We are mindful that growth needs to be sympathetic toward

the environment and the district’s rural values which is why

we talk about “appropriate growth”. Accordingly, we need to

ensure that our planning rules (as we review our District Plan)

do meet the objectives of the District as a whole.

5. Maximise Thermal Pools Profit

We are in the envious position of owning one of New Zealand’s

key tourist facilities - the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and

Spa (HSTP&S). The success of the HSTP&S has had a flow on

effect to other businesses that service the tourist industry. The

HSTP&S is sited on a reserve vested to the Hurunui District

Council in accordance with the Reserves Act. Because of this,

we are able to use the profits from the HSTP&S to fund other

reserves that we administer. This includes the Hurunui Memorial

Library (also known as the “District Library”), the public toilets

and cemeteries throughout the district, as well as a wide range

of recreational reserves. This is a particular point of difference

from other Local Authorities in New Zealand who will generally

have to fund these types of functions through rates.

Key Factors for our Financial Strategy

Within the context of our core principals, we have identified the

following key factors that shape our Financial Strategy over the

life of this LTP:

• We want to ensure that our services remain affordable

• We want to maintain or improve our current levels of


Our key funding mechanisms are:

a. Rates, both District Wide and Targeted rates

b. Surpluses derived from the Hanmer Springs Thermal

Pools and Spa

c. The use of the Internal Financing structure which

provides internal loans for communities requiring funding

and also an avenue for communities to build up funds to

meet funding requirements in the future

We Want to Ensure that Our Services Remain


The concept of affordability is one of our core principles. Our

modest overall rate increases in the past three years have been:

• 2009/2010 - 4.20%

• 2010/2011 - 3.04%

• 2011/2012 - 3.60%

We considered all of these increases to be affordable and

deemed that, the community agreed going by their submissions

when we consulted the public on these. However, there are

various factors facing us that will require us to increase rates

at levels well above what we anticipated when we prepared the

last LTP (the 2009-2019).

As outlined in the Mayor and CEO’s introduction we are

experiencing the on-going financial impact of the Canterbury

Earthquakes. In particular, there has been a significant increase

in the cost of insurance for everyone. While the increase is large

and affects the overall rates increases, we consider it necessary

and responsible to insure our keys assets.

Meeting drinking water compliance is a costly issue (see the Key

Issues section). We consider the cost of complying with the

standards to be unaffordable to communities on the individual

water supplies affected. Because of that, we have developed

a two stage approach where we will aim for Ecoli compliance

immediately and start to build a fund to meet some of the cost of

the full compliance in later years. The rationale of this approach

is to ensure we are in a position to meet our obligations in an

affordable manner.

Whereas we are intending on maintaining our current levels of

service for roading over the next three year period, our ability

to do so in future years may be challenging. The ongoing impact

of receiving less NZTA funding than we had earlier anticipated in

our Asset Management Plans will eventually have a detrimental

effect on our levels of service unless more rates are collected.

The issue we will likely be facing in our next Long Term Plan, will

be affordability versus levels of service.

We Want to Maintain or Improve Our Current

Levels of Service

With the exception of roading as outlined above, we are

committed to maintaining our levels of service. In some areas,

we intend to increase the levels of service, through:

• Complying with the increased Drinking Water Standards

• Improving the treatment of sewage in Hanmer Springs

• Employing an engineer dedicated to stormwater

management throughout the District

• Building new or upgraded facilities, such as:

• upgrading the Hanmer Springs Domain


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

• upgrading or building a new Medical Centre in


• Improving our customer service (within existing


Each of these will be funded through rates or other mechanisms

such as the use of the internal loans or development

contributions, to ensure that the rates increases imposed are

kept to an affordable level.

The Use of Our Key Funding Arms

We have three key arms to our funding structure to meet the

operating and capital expenditure planned for the period of the


1. Rates

Under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, we have

the ability to set rates to fund the activities we undertake.

The way we set our rates is set out in the Funding Impact

Statement and Rates System section.

This Financial Strategy also sets out requirements for us to

place limits on rate increases and this is discussed further


2. Surpluses Derived From the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools

& Spa

As outlined in the Core Principles above, we operate the

HSTP&S complex on a reserve that has been vested to the

Council under the Reserve Act.

Over the past decade, the operation of the HSTP&S complex

has been extremely successful and we constantly consider

how to maximise the profits generated. December 2010 saw

the completion of a $7.5 million expansion of the complex,

which provided a wider range of facilities and has proved to

be an outstanding success. We are aware that as a tourist

destination, the HSTP&S need to be in top condition and

refreshed if we are to maintain our place in the tourism

market. Because of this, and the ability for the profits from

the complex to fund it, further capital projects are planned for

the ten year period of this LTP.

The use of the HSTP&S surpluses is a key funding option

available to meet the costs of our reserves throughout the

district. The plan estimates that a total of $24 million will be

used from the surpluses derived from the HSTP&S to offset

these costs. For the first three years of the Long Term Plan, the

council is forecasting to spend more on reserve based costs

than it is earning from the surplus of the Hannmer Springs

Thermal Pools & Spa, however, the Council is comfortable

with utilising some of the existing reserve balance to fund this.

3. Internal Financing Structure

We developed an internal financing structure to provide a

consistent approach to funding capital expenditure across

the organisation. Because we do not build up depreciation

reserves, this system is important to enable communities

to access funding to undertake capital expenditure projects

rather than being required to fund such project through other

sources, such as rates. Our Internal Financing Policy is fully

discussed on page 262.

The structure is based on individual activities essentially

holding its own bank account. Income (rates, development

contributions, etc.) are deposited into the account and

expenditure, both operating and capital, is withdrawn from

the account. Like other bank accounts, the account can be in

funds or overdrawn. When the balance is in funds, we pay an

amount of interest and if the balance is overdrawn, then that

activity pay interest to us.

The result is that communities are able to undertake capital

expenditure projects by allowing the capital balance to go into

overdraft. This allows those communities to spread the cost

of required capital work over a period of time, rather than

having to fund it entirely in the year that it is incurred, by

setting rates to cover an amount of debt repayment every


The internal financing structure also allows communities to

start building up funds by budgeting to continue to set rates at

a higher level than required to meet all operating costs, even

if there is no debt. This will mean that the excess operating

income will be held for that community to meet capital

expenditure requirements in the future. The benefit to those

communities in this position is that we pay interest to those

communities, which further increases their account balances.

The key benefit from the use of the internal financing structure

and building up fund is that it avoids large increases in rates

as it allowed the Council and the individual communities to

smooth the rating effect of large capital projects.

The anticipated level of internally financed debt at as 1 July

2012 is $16.6 million. The balances over the ten year period

are further disclosed in the Reserve Funds section of the LTP .


Financial Position

Financial Position as at 2012

Our financial position at the start of the LTP period is set out in

the 2011/2012 Annual Plan shown below:

• The total rates were set at $12.8 million; of which $5.3

million are in District Wide rates and $7.5 million are in

targeted rates.

• Total income from non-rate sources was $16.9 million,

which includes $9.6 million in gross revenue derived from

the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa.

• Total Operating Expenditure is forecast at $23.5 million

and Capital expenditure for the 2011/2012 year is

expected to be $9.2 million (which includes a level of

Capital that has been carried over from the 2010/2011


• External Debt was expected to be $13.5 million at the

end of June 2012; however, the forecast has been reduced

to $12.5 million due to deferring some projects as part of

the LTP budget preparation.

• Internal Debt is expected to total $16.6 million as at 30

June 2012.

• Total Assets as at 30 June 2011 was $335 million, of which

$253 million related to our infrastructure.

The Relevance of the Current Financial Situation

to the Financial Strategy

• The current financial situation is relevant to the

financial strategy as it provides the starting point for the

development of the budgets for the LTP.

• There have been relatively low levels of rate increases for

the past three years.

• We took on debt for the first time in September 2010,

principally to provide funding for the $7.5 million

expansion of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa,

but there was already a need to obtain external debt to

fund the following keys projects over the preceding years:

• Town Centre Development in Hanmer Springs ($1.9

million) and Amberley ($560,000)

• Water Upgrades in Amberley ($714,000), Cheviot

($658,000) and Hanmer Springs ($788,000).

• Sewer Upgrades for Amberley ($2 million) and

Hanmer Springs ($1.8 million)

• Capital Expenditure to address the Drainage issues in

the Amberley Ward ($890,000).

• New Medical Centre in Hanmer Springs ($450,000)

and Rotherham ($1 million)

• As a result, there have been a number of large projects that

have been funded through the internal financing policy and

the requirement for those communities to start to repay

the debt through rates to replenish our cash reserves.

Until then, we will continue to hold debt for the period

of the LTP.

• The financial performance of the Hanmer Springs Thermal

Pools and Spa remains critical to our ability to keep rates

at an affordable level. The surpluses derived from the

HSTP&S is actively used to fund various costs relating to

reserves throughout the district. If we did not have the

surpluses to offset these costs, then they would need to be

rated for. In addition, and under the terms of the Internal

Financing Policy, we receive interest from the HSTP&S

for funds lent to it for the recent expansion works. This

interest received is used to offset the costs of our external

debt and to offset the District Wide Rates. The Council is

forecasting to spend more on reserve based costs than it

is forecast to earn from the surpluses derived from the

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa for the first three

years of the Long Term Plan. To fund this the Council will

utilise existing reserves.

Forecast Financial Position as at 2022

At the end of the LTP period, our position is forecast as follows:

• Total rates revenue of $19.9 million; of which $8.0 million

are in District Wide rates and $11.9 million are in targeted


• Total income from non-rate sources is expected to

be $22.3 million, which includes $13.8 million in gross

revenue derived from the HSTP&S.

• Total Operating Expenditure is forecast at $39.6 million

and Capital Expenditure for the 2021/2022 year is

expected to be $7.7 million.

• External Debt was expected to reduce to $12 million at

the end of June 2022.

• Internal Debt will reduce to $15 million by the end of

June 2022.

• Total Assets as at 30 June 2022 is forecast to be $493

million, of which an estimated $393 million relates to


Key Movements Over the Ten Year Period

Rates – Over the ten year period, we are forecasting to

receive a total of $167 million in Rates. This is broken down to

$69million in District Wide Rates and $98 million in Targeted

Rates. To achieve the total increase of 55% since the 2011/2012,

we intend to take incremental steps over the ten year period,

however with a relatively large increase of 5.83% required for

the 2012/2013 year.

Non-Rate Income – Excluding gains in asset valuation and vested

assets, we are forecasting that a total of $191 million will be

received from other forms of income. Roading Subsidies make

up $38 million over the period, Development Contributions are

forecast at $4.3 million and the gross revenues from the HSTP&S

are forecast at $115 million. In addition, we are expected to

receive $3.4 million from Forestry Sales, which is used directly

to reduce debt.

Operating Deficits - Due to Council spending more on reserve

based costs than it is forecast to earn from the surpluses from

the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa, for the first three


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

years of the Long Term Plan, the Council will record small

operating deficits. These will be funded by existing reserves

built up by surpluses generated by the Hanmer Springs Thermal

Pools & Spa in the past.

Operating Expenditure – Total Operating Expenditure is

expected to be $351 million over the ten years. The total

increase from the 2011/2012 year is expected to be 38% over

the ten years and average of less than 4% per annum.

Capital Expenditure – Over the ten year period, we are

forecasting to spend a total of $77 million on Capital

Expenditure. $6.3 million is scheduled to fund projects required

due to growth, further $14.7 million relates to projects that will

assist in improving the levels of services we provide and the

remaining $56.2 million will be used to replace existing assets

when they reach the end of their useful lives.

This information is particularly relevant in determining

growth projections for the period and was also used for the

Development Contributions methodology. We have opted for

the medium growth projections for the ten year period. On this

basis, we have assumed that there will be approximately 17%

growth over the ten year period. The increase predicted for

Hanmer Springs is approximately 21%. With Hanmer Springs

being a tourist town, the growth in new sections and buildings is

not always consistent with an increase in population due to the

higher percentage of non-resident ratepayers who may own a

holiday home rather than a permanent residence.

The following graph shows the movements in the population

of each township in the District over the period from 1991 to


External Debt – This is scheduled to increase from the $13.5

as schedule in the 2011/2012 Annual Plan to reach a maximum

of $22.5 million in the between July 2015 and June 2017. With

communities required to repay certain levels of debt each year

and some communities starting to build up funds to carry out

capital expenditure in the future, we are forecasting that the

external debt will reduce to $12 million by the end of June 2022.

Internal Debt – With communities repaying debt and building

up funds, the movements in the internal debt levels move from

$16.6 million in 2012 down to $15 million in 2022.

Assets – It is expected that the value of our assets will be $493

million as at 30 June 2022. This increase of $165 million has been

brought about by the level of Capital expenditure to be incurred

over the ten years, but also due to the fact that the assets are

required to be revalued on a regular basis. It is forecast that the

increase in the asset values will account for $147 million of the

increase over the ten years.

Population Changes

The LTP has been prepared on the basis that the population

will continue to grow. Due to the effect of the Canterbury

Earthquakes, the 2011 Census was cancelled. Therefore, we

have used the population projections from the 2006 Census

to forecast population changes for the period of the LTP.

The following graph shows the population projection for the

Hurunui District over the next 20 year period.

It is acknowledged that the population of the Hurunui is older

than the national average. This presents issues around ensuring

there are appropriate facilities and services for older people.

We committed to providing buildings for medical centres to

ensure that health services are adequately provided to the

community. The following graph (using the 2006 Census data)

shows the age distribution for the Hurunui in comparison with

Canterbury and New Zealand:


Capital and Operating Costs of Providing for

Changes in Population

In response to the demands of increasing population, we have

identified key projects proposed to respond to the anticipated

growth. These are further discussed in the Development

Contributions Policy but include the following:

1. Water supplies upgrades undertaken on Amberley,

Ashley Rural, Cheviot, Hanmer Springs and Hurunui

Rural water supplies which built in capacity to ensure

both existing ratepayers and future ratepayers are


2. Sewerage systems have had capacity built into upgrade

work on ponds in both Amberley and Hanmer Springs

to allow for future growth. In addition, provision has

been made to allow for new areas to be reticulated in


3. Upgrades to both the Amberley Domain Pavilion and

the Hanmer Springs Hall have been undertaken to

provide additional facilities for both existing and future


4. Provision has been made to develop new and upgrade

existing reserves to cater for increased population.

5. Stormwater provision to be factored in the development

of new areas in Amberley and Hanmer Springs.

Changes in Land Use

The Hurunui District has historically been an agriculture based

district, primarily beef and sheep. Over the past ten years, there

have been marked changes to the use of land throughout the


The growth in tourism, especially Hanmer Springs and centred

around the development of the HSTP&S, has resulted in

increased number of accommodation providers and other

businesses associated with tourism, as well as more holiday


For a period, there was significant growth in viticulture, in

particular in the Waipara area, which provides ideal conditions

from growing premium quality grapes. The Amuri Basin has

seen a significant increase in the number of dairy farms and that

trend is likely to increase if access to further irrigation water

can be secured.

The Glenmark area has had two major wind farm applications –

one from Mainpower and the other from Meridian Energy.

The following pie chart shows the current land use of properties

in the Hurunui District as at September 2010 (the date of the

last District revaluation):

Capital and Operating Costs of Providing for

Changes in Land Use

Because of the uncertainty of the changes in land use, no specific

allowance has been made for changes to capital or operational

costs to allow for this.

Key Levels of Service

Capital Expenditure Programme

Capital expenditure requirements for our infrastructural assets

and roads are dictated by the levels outlined in the Asset

Management Plans (AMPs) for each activity. The AMPs are

updated on a regular basis to ensure that various changes to the

plan in the interim period are accounted for.

As discussed in the Key Issues section, we face potential issues

in the future regarding the level of funding that is expected to

be provided for roading from the NZTA. Our AMP for Roading

sets out what level of expenditure we have forecast to meet the

current levels of service. Since the AMP was adopted, there was

a change to the level of expenditure that the NZTA is prepared

to fund and this means that the expenditure allowed for in the

LTP budgets are significantly short of what was provided for in

the AMP. The AMP was developed prior to the change in central

government policy and before we were able to achieve greater

efficiencies through our current road maintenance contracts.

The difference over the ten years between what was scheduled

in the AMP and what has been provided in the LTP amounts to

a total of $18 million. Through achieving greater efficiencies in

the current roading contracts, we are planning on delivering the

same levels of service for the next three year period. In future

years, our ability to meet the same levels of service may not be

achieved without increasing rates.


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

In general, Capital Expenditure is broken down to three key


1. Capital expenditure relating to meeting the existing

levels of service. This will be principally replacement of

the existing assets

2. Capital expenditure aimed at improving the current

levels of service

3. Capital expenditure on assets required due to growth.

Some items of Capital Expenditure may actually fall into more

than one category. For example, the replacement of a length of

water pipe is required to provide water to existing consumers,

but the diameter of that length of pipe may be increased from

its existing diameter to allow for greater capacity in the future.

An assessment is carried out as to apportion the cost of each

project to the category to which it relates and if that cannot

be readily assessed, the category will be determine by the key

reason for the work to be undertaken.

Over the period of the LTP, we have budgeted $77 million to

spend on Capital expenditure. Of this balance, $56.2 million

related to maintaining the existing levels of service by providing

for replacement of current assets. A further $14.7 million

is aimed at making improvements to the level of service and

the balance of $6.3 million relates to projects scheduled due

to growth. The following graph shows the percentages of the

Capital Programme that relate to each category.












Growth Related

Improved Levels of Service


The key area of capital expenditure is relating to the infrastructural

assets. Of the total Capital Expenditure programme for the

ten years of $77 million; $43.5 million relates to Roads and

Footpaths; $10.1 million relates to Water Supplies and $3.8

million relates to Sewerage Schemes. The following graph shows

the split of the Capital Expenditure programme to each of the

ten Groups of Activities for the ten year period.








Corporate Services


Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

Growth and Development

Environment and Safety

Community Services and Facilities

Roads and Footpaths

Stormwater and Drainage


Water Supplies


We base rates on the Capital Value of each property. We set our

rates by way of District Wide Rates and Targeted Rates.

District Wide rates are charged on all properties in

the district, regardless of location. They are are broken

down further to: Governance; Roading; Planning; Waste

Management; Canterbury Museum; and other General


• Targeted rates are charged for specific activities based

on services provided or land use. They are broken down

further to: Water; Sewer; Stromwater/Drainage/Land

Protection; Ward Amenities; Refuse Collection Ward

Medical Centre; Rural fire; Tourism and Other Sundry

Targeted rates.

• The rates and how they are set are further defined in the

Funding Impact Statement but the key changes proposed

for the LTP relate to the funding of Drinking Water

Standards, District Wide Stormwater work and the

Capital Levy anticipated to be charged by the Canterbury


Drinking Water Standards

The funding of the drinking water improvements will be done

in two stages. Firstly, those supplies that are to be treated, the

direct operating costs of the treatment and the servicing of the

debt arising out of the capital expenditure needed to treat the

relevant water supplies, will be collectively charged by rating

each dwelling that benefits from the work. Secondly, from

2015/2016, a provision is to be made from the general rate to

build a fund to offset some of the significant capital cost to be

incurred in achieving full compliance with the drinking water


District Wide Stormwater

After the flooding events in 2008, much more emphasis has been

placed on development of stormwater plans for the District as

a whole. A stormwater engineer is to be appointed in 2013 to

look after this area. As the issue is district wide, the funding is

to come from the District Wide General Rate, with a portion

to be funded by way of a fixed charge and a portion by way of

capital value.

Canterbury Museum

As one of four contributing authorities to the Canterbury

Museum, the Hurunui District has been contributing a levy to

fund the operations of the Museum on an annual basis. Hurunui

has set a fixed charge on every property in the District to

cover this rate. The Museum is proposing to carry out a $63

million building project, which will need to be funded by way

of a Capital Levy. The budget set aside for the Capital levy is

$50,000 in 2013/2014, $100,000 in 2014/2015 and $50,000 in

2015/2016. It is intended that the Capital levy will be charged

on the same basis as the operating levy by sharing it as a fixed

charge per property.


Rate Increases

In general terms, we try to keep the overall rate increase each

year to the level of inflation. However, the actual increases

in rates from an organisational point of view do change from

year to year depending on the funding options chosen and also

the fact that there are operational costs that are not carried

out every year, but need to be funded in the year they are

incurred. As a result, as the rates increase is an amalgam of many

individual rate increases, we intend to set the rates at the level

that is required, rather than to ensure the overall rate increase

is matches inflation.

The Hurunui District has a small population (one of the smallest

in New Zealand), and because of this, various factors can have

a marked effect on the rates increases in any one year as there

are fewer people to spread the cost across. As a result, there is

an allowance for any rate increases being higher than the level

of inflation due to extraordinary items. These items include, but

not limited to, the following:

• Capital expenditure requirements, which increases the

level of debt for individual communities.

• Increase expenditure due to compliance with new


• Increased expenditure resulting from extraordinary

events, such as the Canterbury Earthquakes.

When determining the overall rate increases, an allowance is

made for a 1% increase in the capital value of the district each

year. This may be reviewed if there are significant areas of growth

experienced in excess to this. The increase is only applied to

the district wide rates as it is difficult to accurately assess the

growth in individual areas that targeted rates are charged to.

Because of the structure of our rating system, the overall increase

in rates will not be consistent for each property throughout the

district. It will depend on the targeted rates that are charged

to that particular property and also the capital value of the

property. We provide the relative rate increase comparisons for

22 various sample properties from throughout the district. We

have used the same 22 properties for years as this gives us a

good indication of the impact of increases across the different

communities and house values. The sample properties analysis

is provided the Appendices section.

Overall Rate Increases

Based on the budgets provided for the LTP, the overall rates

increases for each year of the LTP are as follows:


The rates increases are broken down to the following:

Limits on Rate Increases

Overall Rates Increase

2012/2013 (Year 1) 5.83%

2013/2014 (Year 2) 5.77%

2014/2015 (Year 3) 5.37%

2015/2016 (Year 4) 3.17%

2016/2017 (Year 5) 3.82%

2017/2018 (Year 6) 3.15%

2018/2019 (Year 7) 2.61%

2019/2020 (Year 8) 4.01%

2020/2021 (Year 9) 3.74%

2021/2022 (Year 10) 3.33%


District Wide


Targeted Rate

2012/2013 (Year 1) 5.63% 5.96%

2013/2014 (Year 2) 7.15% 4.80%

2014/2015 (Year 3) 6.34% 4.67%

2015/2016 (Year 4) 2.14% 3.95%

2016/2017 (Year 5) 3.20% 4.28%

2017/2018 (Year 6) 2.14% 3.89%

2018/2019 (Year 7) 0.30% 4.31%

2019/2020 (Year 8) 3.37% 4.47%

2020/2021 (Year 9) 2.60% 4.55%

2021/2022 (Year 10) 1.17% 4.85%

All Councils are required to set a limit on rates increases over

the ten year period of the LTP. There are no set rules around

how we are to determine what limit it imposes.


There were a number of options available to us, for instance:

• Setting rate increases to an inflation rate.


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

• Setting a percentage increase.

• Setting an increase based on known factors and


We felt that setting rate increase limits based on an arbitrary

rate of inflation was not consistent to the assessment of the

proposed costs outlined in the LTP. This is because it did not

take into account items such as new capital expenditure, which

could result in a necessary increase in rates to fund the work,

which could exceed the overall increase in rates.

Setting a percentage increase per annum again did not reflect

the assessment of the proposed costs in the long term.

Furthermore, as the rates for individual communities can

increases at varying amounts due to various factors, it was

difficult to set a percentage increase that reflected these factors


As a result, we decided that the limit to be placed on rate

increases is to be set as a percentage of the overall rates

increases predicted in the LTP.


The percentage on top of the predicted rates increases will be

2%. In determining this percentage, we that felt 2% provides

sufficient flexibility, particularly if there is significant cost

increases (on top of what has been allowed for using the BERL

cost price increase projections) imposed on us as a result of the

on-going effects of the Canterbury Earthquakes.

As a result, the limits will be as follows





Increase Limit

2012/2013 (Year 1) 5.83% 7.83%

2013/2014 (Year 2) 5.77% 7.77%

2014/2015 (Year 3) 5.37% 7.37%

2015/2016 (Year 4) 3.17% 5.17%

2016/2017 (Year 5) 3.82% 5.82%

2017/2018 (Year 6) 3.13% 5.15%

2018/2019 (Year 7) 2.61% 4.61%

2019/2020 (Year 8) 4.01% 6.01%

2020/2021 (Year 9) 3.74% 5.74%

2021/2022 (Year 10) 3.33% 5.33%

Again, because of the nature of the targeted rate structure,

the increase (or decrease) in rates for any year for individual

properties can vary markedly.

Non-Rates Income

We rely heavily on other forms of income to finance our

operations. For the period of the LTP, the budget has scheduled

that 54% of our total income is generated from sources other

than rates.







For 2012/2013, the income from non-rate sources is expected

to total $16.6 million and this is scheduled to increase to $23

million by 2021/2022.

New Zealand Transport Authority Subsidies

The first key component of non-rate income is NZTA subsidies,

which are used to fund both operating and capital expenditure

relating to the roading network. We have assumed that the

current funding assistance rate of funding provided by NZTA

will be maintained for the period of the LTP. Further discussion

of this is provided in the Forecasting Assumptions on page 148

and in the Key Issues section.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa Revenue

The other key component is the Revenue derived from the

HSTP&S, which accounts for approximately one third of the total

income received. The HSTP&S is run as a separate business unit

of the Council and after allowing for Operating Expenses and

Interest, the surpluses are actively used to fund reserve costs

throughout the District. The reserve costs include: the cost

of the library, cemeteries, public toilets and a range of district

reserve costs. Over the last five years, the surpluses from the

pools have contributed a total of $7.65 million to these reserve

costs, which would otherwise need to be rated for. Over the life

the long term plan it is forecast that a total of $24 million will

be used from the surpluses derived from the HSTP&S to offset

these reserve costs.

Development Contributions

Other Income

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

NZTA Subsidies

External Interest Received

Development Contributions

Development Contributions also form a key component for

funding capital expenditure which has been required due to

increased growth. It is anticipated that over the life of the LTP, we

will receive a total of $4.3 million in Development Contributions,

however the amount actually received will be dependent on the

level of growth experienced. The Development Contribution

Policy is on page 201.


Fees and Charges

Fees and Charges account for the remaining non-rate income.

We review our fees and charges each year and try to ensure

that they help offset actual costs and that the activities are not

overly reliant on rate funding instead. We also aim to make the

fees and charges affordable and fair on those who use them.

Targets for Investments

Cash Investments

As a result of a large Capital programme over the 2009/2010 and

2010/2011 years, principally due to the expansion works at the

HSTP&S, we had to take on term debt for the first time. Over

the period of the LTP, we expect to remain as a net borrower. As

a result, we no longer hold any long term cash assets in the form

of bonds or stock. Any spare cash funds are generally held on

call or in a short term investment of less than three months to

earn a small amount of interest as the interest rates are better

than holding the funds in a current account.

Equity Investments

Currently, we hold two equity investments – one in Civic

Assurance and the other in Transwaste Canterbury. Neither

assets are readily tradable on the open market, but we have

objectives for retaining ownerships of these investments.

Our holding in Civic Assurance was to maintain Civic as an

option in the insurance market. Civic was set up to provide

Local Authorities with an option for insurance that generally

met the unique insurance requirements faced by Councils.

Civic Assurance was heavily affected by the claims made as a

result of the Canterbury Earthquakes and there was a need

to recapitalise to ensure that it remains part of the insurance

market for local authorities in the future. It is not expected to

return a dividend for over the period of the LTP.

We own 1.2% of Transwaste Canterbury, which owns and

operates the Kate Valley Landfill. The value of our investment

as at 30 June 2011 was $269,000.The Company is 50% owned

by five of the Councils in Canterbury and our objective for

holding our investment is to continue to receive dividends

from the Company. The net return to us is approximately 27%

on Hurunui’s share of the net asset backing of the Company

and we have budgeted to receive $72,000 per annum from this


Forestry Investments

We hold approximately 240 hectares of trees. Some of the key

plantations are due for milling during the life of the LTP. Forestry

assets are held as long term investments on the basis of net

positive discounted cash flows, factoring in projected market

prices and annual maintenance and cutting costs. All income

from forestry is included in the statement of comprehensive

income, and this is used to fund replanting of the land. Where

there is an excess of funds, we may distribute this in a manner

we see fit.

External Debt

We have two key areas of borrowing - Internal and External.

The Internal debt is pursuant to our Internal Financing Policy, as

discussed above.

As our cash resources have been drawn down to fund key

capital projects in the past few years, we needed to take on

external debt to manage cash flow. We are now expecting to be

a net borrower for the period of the LTP.

Anticipated Levels of External Debt

As at 31 December 2011, the total amount of external debt we

held was $12 million. At the end of the ten year period, the debt

is expected to be $12.0 million, with the debt level is expected

to peak at $22.5 million over the period between July 2014 and

June 2017. The anticipated debt levels over the period.





Limits on Debt Levels

Total Anticipated

Interest Expense

2012/2013 (Year 1) $18.5 million $969,000

2013/2014 (Year 2) $20.0 million $1,203,000

2014/2015 (Year 3) $21.5 million $1,297,000

2015/2016 (Year 4) $22.0 million $1,359,000

2016/2017 (Year 5) $22.5 million $1,359,000

2017/2018 (Year 6) $21.5 million $1,281,000

2018/2019 (Year 7) $19.5 million $1,156,000

2019/2020 (Year 8) $17.5 million $1,000,000

2020/2021 (Year 9) $14.5 million $828,000

2021/2022 (Year 10) $12.0 million $750,000

Our External Liability Risk Management Policy sets out the

limits on the level of debt that we can take on. The ratios have

been developed in accordance to the industry standard and

have been set against the levels that are appropriate for us to

take debt from the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA).

The net debt limits provided for in the policy are that total debt

shall be no more than 100% of total income and no more than

10% of total equity. Based on the levels of income allowed for


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

in the LTP, the limit of the debt that could be taken on is $42.5



100% of Total


10% of Total


2012/2013 (Year 1) $30.3 million $34.2 million

2013/2014 (Year 2) $31.6 million $34.6 million

2014/2015 (Year 3) $32.9 million $35.2 million

2015/2016 (Year 4) $34.3 million $37.7 million

2016/2017 (Year 5) $35.4 million $38.2 million

2017/2018 (Year 6) $36.5 million $38.9 million

2018/2019 (Year 7) $37.9 million $42.0 million

2019/2020 (Year 8) $39.2 million $42.7 million

2020/2021 (Year 9) $40.7 million $43.8 million

2021/2022 (Year 10) $42.5 million $47.5 million

The policy also provides for the total amount of interest

expenses shall be no more than 5% of total revenue and no

more than 10% of annual rates income. Based on the maximum

of $42.5 million in income, the total interest cost can be no

more than $2.13 million.


5% of total


10% of total

annual rates


2012/2013 (Year 1) $1.52 million $1.36 million

2013/2014 (Year 2) $1.58 million $1.45 million

2014/2015 (Year 3) $1.65 million $1.53 million

2015/2016 (Year 4) $1.72 million $1.59 million

2016/2017 (Year 5) $1.78 million $1.65 million

2017/2018 (Year 6) $1.83 million $1.70 million

2018/2019 (Year 7) $1.90 million $1.75 million

Holding a Debenture Trust Deed provides us with security for a

range of different funding options:

• Registered Bank Debt

• Use of the Local Government Funding Agency

• Issuing Council Debt directly to the market

Further information is available in the External Liability

Management Policy.

Implications of Hurunui’s Financial Strategy

Assessment of our ability to provide and maintain existing levels

of service and to meet additional demands for service within

those rate increase limits:

We face potential issues in the future in regards to the level

of funding that is expected to be provided for roading from

NZTA as discussed previously in this Financial Strategy. It

has been estimated that the difference over the ten years

between what was scheduled in the AMP and what has

been provided in the LTP amounts to a total of $18 million.

Assessment of our ability to provide and maintain existing levels

of service and to meet additional demands for service within

those debt limits:

As listed in the table above, we are not contemplating

taking on debt greater than $22.5 million and the

maximum amount of interest expected to be charged on

the external debt is budgeted at less than $1.4 million.

Therefore, with the exception of the Roading Network

due to circumstances outlined earlier, our assessment is

that we do have the ability to maintain the existing levels

of service and to meet additional demands for service

within those debt limits.

2019/2020 (Year 8) $1.97 million $1.82 million

2020/2021 (Year 9) $2.04 million $1.90 million

2021/2022 (Year 10) $2.13 million $1.98 million

Security for Borrowing

Prior to taking on debt for the first time in September 2010, we

prepared a Debenture Trust Deed and selected Perpetual Trust

as our Trustee. The Debenture Trust Deed is a standard security

document for Councils. The key security available is that a charge

can be made against the rates of the Council to repay debt so

the market perspective on this is that a Debenture Trust Deed

provides a low level of risk for an investor or funding provider,

which in turn should allow for lower interest rates.


Statement Concerning Balancing of the Budget


In terms of the Local Government Act 2002, the Council is

balancing the budget over the period of the Long Term Plan as in

most years; the budgeted operating income exceeds budgeted

operating expenditure. There are some areas of expenditure

that the Council has resolved not to fund, which are discussed

further. The Council also has developed an internal financing

policy to cope with funding for future capital expenditure


Local Government Act 2002

Under Section 100 of the Local Government Act 2002, the

Council is required to balance the budget. The provisions of the

sections specifically state that “A local authority must ensure

that each year’s projected operating revenues are set at a level

sufficient to meet that year’s projected operating expenses”.

The Act goes further to state that a local authority may set

projected operating revenues at a different level from that

required if the Council resolves that it is financially prudent to

do so, having regard to:

to that activity. In some cases, the Council has resolved to use

reserves to fund some specific expenditure. This is particularly

the case where the Council actively uses the Reserve built up

by surpluses recorded from the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools

and Spa to fund the operating expenditure of other reserves

throughout the entire district.

Receipt of Capital Income

For some of the Council activities, the Council has budgeted to

receive various amounts of income that are of a capital nature.

This capital income is in the form of development and reserve

contributions and vested assets which are not used to reduce

the amount of rates to be charged of a particular activity. These

amounts are instead applied to the capital requirements of the

activity that it relates to.

Funding of Depreciation

The introduction of the Local Government Amendment (No 3)

Act 1996 imposed the requirement for local authorities to fund


a) The estimated expenses of achieving and maintaining

the predicted levels of service provision set out in the

long-term council community plan, including the estimated

expenses associated with maintaining the service capacity

and integrity of assets throughout their useful life; and

b) The projected revenue available to fund the estimated

expenses associated with maintaining the service capacity

and integrity of assets throughout their useful life; and

c) The equitable allocation of responsibility for funding

the provision and maintenance of assets and facilities

throughout their useful life; and

d) The funding and financial polices set out in this long

term plan

Use of Reserves

The council is forecasting to record an overall deficit (excluding

gains on Asset Revaluation) in each of the first three years of teh

Long Term Plan. These deficits have been caused by the Council’s

decision to fund more reserve based costs than it is generatimg

from the surpluses of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa.

The Council is comfortable with this approach as it is able to

utilise surplusses that have been generated over the past few

years that have yet to be allocated. The Council is forecasting

to record surpluses for each year of the Long Term Plan from

year four onwards. In some activities however, the Council has

resolved not to set revenue to fund all of the costs relating

In 1999, the Council widely consulted with its community over

this requirement and it concluded that the Council will not cash

fund depreciation on Water and Sewer assets, roading or ward

Amenity assets. In addition, it has been resolved not to fund

depreciation on the library building.

Rates for these activities are set at a level higher than required

to meet the operating costs in terms of the Internal Financing

System. The additional rates will be used to either repay debt (if

the activity holds some internal debt) or used to build an amount

to fund future capital expenditure. The Internal Financing system

is fully discussed in the Internal Financing Policy.

Implications to Not Fully Fund


As there are no specific depreciation reserves created for water,

sewer, roading and ward amenities, there are no funds available

immediately to apply to capital expenditure requirements of

each of these activities. As a result, the community of benefit

is required to meet the cost of the capital expenditure through

the use of internal loans or fund the capital cost through rates

and other income.

If internal loans are used, there is the requirement on that

community of benefit to fund not only the appropriate interest

charge but also a portion of the principal of the outstanding loan

on an annual basis. Both interest and principal repayments has


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

the effect of increasing the operational cost that the community

must bear and as a result, increases in the rate requirement are

inevitable. The Internal Financing system goes further to ensure

that communities continue to fund additional payments, even if

the debt has been repaid, to build up a reserve fund to assist in

funding capital expenditure requirements in the future.

Council is comfortable with increasing rates to meet the cost of

interest and principal because existing ratepayers have previously

been relieved of any rate increases that may have been required

if the Council resolved to fully fund the depreciation on those



Community Outcomes


‘Community outcomes’ are the community’s overall aspirations

for the future of the Hurunui district. They relate to all aspects

of our rural life – our environment, economy, social, and cultural

wellbeing. These four wellbeings are commonly referred to

by government agencies as summarising the various aspects

needed for healthy community life in New Zealand.

The community outcomes in this long term plan relate directly

to the activities that we do as a council as they are the only

ones we have direct control over. There can be many more

community outcomes which can only be achieved with help

from other organisations such as business, government, the

police and many others.

Hawarden /Waikari Volunteer Rural Fire Force (VRFF)

The term ‘community outcomes’ is used to describe what

people want to happen now and in the future for the benefit

of not only today’s people, but future generations. Community

outcomes are about improving the wellness of our communities

over time in a sustainable manner.

Identifying the Community Outcomes

In past years, we have sought public views to identify what our

communities consider important for the future of the Hurunui

District. In addition to this, we have often sought community

views on a variety of issues and we feel confident we have a

good understanding of what people in the Hurunui consider to

be important. We have since scaled down previously identified

community outcomes to five broad outcomes that we as a

Council are able to work toward achieving. These community

outcomes are described in table 1. and each is aligned to one of

the four key wellbeings as well as the service or activity that we

provide to contribute toward achievement of them.

Hawarden/Waikari & Scargill VRFF

Scargill VRFF


Table 1:

Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

Community Outcomes and the Link to What Council Does (Activities)


Wellbeing Outcome Definition Council Activities (How we contribute)




A desirable and

safe place to live

A place where

our traditional

rural values and

heritage make

Hurunui unique

A place with a

thriving local


A place with



A place that




• We have attractive well designed


• Communities have access to

adequate health and emergency

services and systems and

resources are available to meet

civil defence emergencies

• Risks to public health are

identified and appropriately


• People have a range of

opportunities to participate in

leisure and culture activities

• Our historic and cultural

heritage is protected for future


• We are seen as a good place to

do business, to live and to visit

• We have a strong emphasis

on service delivery across

all infrastructure including

roading, water (for drinking

and development), waste water,

stormwater and solid waste

• We protect our environment

while preserving people’s

property rights

• We minimise solid waste to the

fullest extent, and manage the rest

in a sustainable way

Measuring and Reporting our Progress

Each of the above outcomes is aligned to our services which

will contribute toward the achievement of them. We are

responsible for monitoring our performance each year, and the

results are provided in our Annual Report. How we are doing

with each of our services will give a good indication of how we

are going overall to achieve the community outcomes. See the

Council Activity pages for performance information.


• Community Services and


• Environment and Safety

• Governance

• Community Services and


• Hanmer Springs Thermal

Pools & Spa

District Promotion

• Hanmer Springs Thermal

Pools & Spa

• Water Supply

• Sewerage

• Stormwater & Drainage

• Roads & Footpaths

• Environment & Safety

Individual services

Property - Pensioner Housing,

Residential Housing, Public Toilets,

Council Offices & Depots, Car Parks,

Medical Centres, Halls, Swimming

Pools, Township Maintenance

Emergency Services - Civil Defence,

Rural Fire

Compliance and Regulatory

Functions - Building, Public Health,

Liquor Licensing, Animal Control


Community Services - Library, Youth,

Community Development, Grants

and Service Awards

Reserves - Parks and Reserves,

Queen Mary Historic Hospital

Reserve, Cemeteries

Thermal Pools – Spa, i-site, pools,




Economic Development

Water Schemes

Sewerage Schemes

Stormwater & Drainage

Roading - Roads, Bridges, Footpaths,

Street Lighting, Road Safety

Resource Management & Planning

- RMA Consents, Administration

& Policy Development, Subdivision


Waste Minimisation - Refuse,

Recycling, Transfer Stations, Litter Bin



Aligning Our Long Term Plan With the Government’s Drivers

for Economic Growth

The Government’s Economic Growth


The government’s principal economic goal is to deliver greater

prosperity, security and opportunities to all New Zealanders.

It wants to improve New Zealand’s fundamental growth

momentum. An important part of this is through the economy

rebalancing itself toward exporting and investment. The

government has a six-point Economic Growth Agenda aimed at

creating an environment that allows businesses to grow, export

and create high-value jobs. The six drivers for economic growth


• Enable better science, innovation and trade.

• Remove red tape and unnecessary regulation.

• Deliver better, smarter, public services.

• nvest in productive infrastructure.

• Lift education and skills.

• Create a growth-enhancing tax system.

Hurunui’s Annual Economic Growth

Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) Regional

Performance Indicators Report for 2011, published in March 2012,

which measures each district’s economic performance, ranked

Hurunui 10th out of 66 territorial local authorities in New

Zealand. Nine key performance indicators were compared

for the year ending March 2011. We maintained our 10th place

2010 ranking.

Infometrics Limited Annual Economic Profile for 2010, published in

2011, said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Hurunui measured

$303m in 2010, down 0.3% from a year earlier. New Zealand’s

GDP declined by 0.5% over the same period. Hurunui’s GDP

growth of -0.3% ranked it number 32 among the 72 territorial

authorities for GDP growth.

Agriculture, fishing and forestry was the largest industry in

Hurunui in 2010 accounting for 45.3% of total GDP, followed by

business and property services (12.4%).

Council’s Contribution Towards Economic


From a local perspective, Hurunui District Council plays a

significant role in growing the local economy. Its involvement in

areas such as leadership, planning and infrastructure, regulation,

services, business support, and social and community, actively

create environments that attract, retain, and grow economic

activity. Our contribution occurs within its total annual spending

(planned to be $30m in the 2012/13 year). This spending can

be viewed as an investment into the Hurunui environment that


enables individuals, households and organisations to produce

and contribute to economic growth.

Leadership: We contribute through our role in local strategic

planning. We have developed a new vision (‘Community partnership

in growth and wellbeing’) and have developed a Long

Term Plan that provides for economic growth and allows business

interests to flourish. Key drivers for the Plan include core

principles of:

• Focusing on core services.

• Financial responsibility and affordability.

• Continuous improvement in service to everyone in our


• Facilitating appropriate growth in the district.


• Maximising our Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa


Hurunui District Council being a High Performance


Infrastructure: We contribute through our role as an infrastructure

provider. Our investment in infrastructure plays a direct

role in creating an attractive environment for business to


Regulation: We contribute through our regulatory role. We

can make it easier for new investment, for businesses to grow

and create jobs.

Services: We contribute through our role in providing local

amenities, such as libraries and reserves. We provide services

that make our communities attractive to skilled migrants.

Business Support: We contribute through our support to

business and industry development. Our economic development

arm, Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC) carries out a range of

activities that help retain businesses and support growth and

prosperity in North Canterbury. ENC’s budget is over $1.1m

p.a. It receives 44% of its funding from the Hurunui and Waimakariri

District Councils (HDC funding is $50,000 p.a.); 30%

from central government contracts; 18% from the private sector

and other grants; and 8% from sponsorship.

We also continue by promoting tourism in order to attract

visitors into the district to enable local business growth (refer

to the District Promotion activity for proposed tourism changes

outlined for consultation).

Community: We contribute through our contribution to social

and community affairs, strengthening local social capital.

Overall, we have a fundamental role in ‘shaping’ places in the

Hurunui, like our towns, ensuring infrastructure and amenities

are provided to make our district attractive to investment and

skilled immigrants.

Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

Some of the important things we plan to do in this Long Term

Plan that directly relate to the government’s six-point Economic

Growth Agenda are highlighted below:

Enable Better Science, Innovation and


Science and innovation are enormously important drivers of

New Zealand’s economic growth.

ENC will be proactive in searching for and supporting new

initiatives that create substantial wealth in North Canterbury.

Particular emphasis will be given to the primary sector and its

related servicing industries. ENC’s Rural Technology Transfer

Project is particularly relevant. This project is about turning new

ideas developed at Lincoln Research campuses into practical

applications resulting in commercial returns on the farm.

Improved techniques for both dryland farming and irrigated land

use options are being pursued.

ENC will continue to facilitate the establishment of local

industry groupings where these are sought by the sector, to

achieve efficiencies in marketing, product development and

securing of resources. Management and marketing of the North

Canterbury Food and Wine Trail is one such example.

ENC assesses economic development opportunities in local

towns. A Cheviot project is currently underway.

In 2011 we approved a Hurunui Tourism Strategy and currently

continue to fund tourism promotion in order to attract visitors

into the district to support local business growth. Likewise, ongoing

investment in and the marketing of our Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and Spa complex is provided for in this Plan;

the Thermal Pools and Spa complex are an internationally

recognised tourism icon that return a growing income stream

to fund works and services on Council reserves and off-set the

size of the district wide rate requirement.

Overseas trade links can be a productivity springboard. For this

purpose, councils often form overseas sister city relationships.

To date, we have not taken on such a role. Forming a relationship

with Hung Hu City in China at a cost of $7,500 p.a. has been

requested of Council. More information is being sought. No

provision for such a relationship is included in this Plan at this


Remove Red Tape and Unnecessary


We have implemented the government’s recent simplified

Resource Management Act changes to reduce costs and make

processes clearer; and it will implement any further RMA and

building regulation reforms when enacted, to make it easier for

businesses to grow, invest and create jobs.

In terms of our own regulations, over the past few years we

have carried out a significant number of District Plan changes to

ensure the District Plan is up to date and that our rules reflect

current thinking. Among these approved changes, relatively

large amounts of land have been opened up for development

in Amberley, Hanmer Springs and Gore Bay, new areas of land

have been zoned for business and industrial purposes, and

appropriate rules for vine yards wanting to install frost fans have

been agreed.

We are required to give effect to recent new National Policy

Statements (NPS) such as the NPS for Renewable Electricity

Generation 2011. The government has a renewable electricity

target of 90% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. This

requires a significant increase in the proportion of electricity to

be generated from renewable resources. The government was

concerned renewable electricity generation was being unduly

impeded by variable provisions in local authority policies and

plans and changing attitudes to the environmental effects of

development associated with renewable electricity generation

activities. Accordingly there are now new guidelines to ensure

the national significance of renewable electricity generation and

associated activities are more explicitly recognised in policy

development and resource management consenting processes.

This Long Term Plan contains funding for a comprehensive

review of our District Plan. We expect the District Plan to be

ready for notification by the end of 2013.

The Environment Court released its decision at the end of

2011 on the Mainpower proposal to establish and operate a

$200m wind farm at Mt Cass Waipara. The initial application was

declined by Hurunui District Council appointed commissioners.

During extensive mediation the proposal was modified and this

modified proposal was directly referred to the Court and it

is this proposal that has been granted consent, subject to an

extensive suite of conditions. Mainpower have eight years to

give effect to the consent. The Council will have an important

regulatory role to fulfil in respect to consent requirements.

In 2011 we agreed to directly refer Meridian Energy’s proposed

$200m to $300m Greta Valley wind farm development consent

application to the Environment Court. Meridian Energy has

agreed to pay our direct referral costs. We expect the Court

will be hearing the application by mid-2012.

In September 2011, developers announced their plans for a

$120m shopping centre and residential development on the

eastern side of Amberley. The $30m shopping centre on State

Highway One was granted a non-notified resource consent

by us in February 2010, but developers are still finalising plans

and have yet to provide a firm start date for what is likely to be

a staged development.

The $90m residential development is expected to open up 500

to 600 lots in total. We granted a subdivision application for the

first stage of the development late last year.


In October 2011, another 60 lot subdivision application was

granted on the Western side of Amberley.

ENC will continue to play a role assisting new businesses

establish in the district. Part of this role is acting as an interface

for businesses with us to ensure regulatory processes are work


In preparation of this Long Term Plan we commissioned

PricewaterhouseCoopers to review our Development

Contributions policy. As a result, a number of minor amendments

were agreed to ensure we will collect the correct amount of

money from developers to cover the costs of growth (refer to

the Development Contributions section of this Plan).

Deliver Better, Smarter, Public Services

We have a High Performance Organisation culture. A range of

work aimed at improving customer services and achieving cost

savings and value for money is undertaken each year.

We competitively tender a significant amount of its work.

Last year we saved $200,000 with our three year public toilet

cleaning contracts. Grass moving and street cleaning tendering

also resulted in savings. In our largest contract area, road

maintenance, last year Downers won this work, tendering a

three year price of $11,595,216. This was $3,707,704 under

our engineer’s estimate based on historic rates, and $2,113,444

lower than the next lowest tendered price. Savings are reinvested

into the roading network.

We are involved in and will continue to look for opportunities

in Shared Services arrangements in order to deliver our

services and to help get value for money (refer Shared Services

references throughout this Plan). See Table1: Shared Services.

ENC will continue to carry out regular research with local

businesses to identify gaps, opportunities and track business

issues and trends.

Invest in Productive Infrastructure

First-class infrastructure is an important enabler of higher

productivity and economic growth. In this Long Term Plan

we are investing in owning and maintaining a high standard

of infrastructure that meets both our community’s economic,

social, cultural and environmental needs, and the government’s

legislative requirements.

Importantly, this Plan makes the significant funding provision

necessary for Hurunui to be able to meet government’s Drinking

Water Standards. The Plan provides for more public toilets;

more cemetery land; new stormwater infrastructure; more

parks and reserves infrastructure; for library, hall and service

centre improvements; and for new emergency management and

rural fire equipment, to name just a few. It also contains initial

proposals for new sporting and medical centres.

Table 1: Shared Services

Hurunui District Council Shared Services

Arrangements as at February 2012

Collaboration Joint Procurement Shared Services

Canterbury Water Electoral Services Transwaste Kate Valley

Management Strategy


Civil Defence

Rural Fire

Flood Protection

Office accommodation

(for CRC)



SOLGM – best practice


Ingenium – asset

management work

Building Accreditation

Environmental Health

District Plan work

Rate collection (for


IT/ GIS/ Library

IT (hardware and


SOLGM – industry

good work

SOLGM – staff

recruitment and


Regional Purchasing

Group (electricity, fuel)


CED Co Ltd

Canterbury Museum

Insurance – Riskpool/

LAPP/ Civic

Building control work

Regional planning Road Maintenance


(some sharing with

Waimakariri DC)

HDC Natural

Biodiversity (govt grant)

Environment Fund (joint

grant with Mainpower)


Development (govt


Libraries (located with

local schools)

Water (Ashley

scheme extending into

Waimakariri DC area)

Water will be a key part of North Canterbury’s transformational

economic development. We continue to support the Canterbury

Water Management Strategy in this Long Term Plan. We provide

for our share of the operation of the Hurunui Waiau Zone

Committee, which is a joint committee with the Canterbury

Regional Council. The Regional Council’s Regional Water

Committee will be considering the matter of how to fund the

provision of infrastructure associated with any large water

storage options that are seen as feasible. Properly managed, bulk

water storage could result in large productivity gains in North

Canterbury. No Council funding for such a purpose has been

discussed or provided for in this Plan to date.

With the removal of the Hurunui and Waiau River moratoriums

on 1 October 2011, Meridian Energy and Ngai Tahu Property

have jointly lodged initial consent applications for a proposed

hydro and irrigation scheme to be located between the Waiau

and Hurunui Rivers. The development of the project will be

dependent on the Hurunui Waiau Regional Plan progress

in 2012 and the RMA consent process. The parties still have

significant investigations and design work to complete and

believe construction is likely to be at least 10 years away. We are


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

likely to have an important consenting role.

The Hurunui Water Project has also lodged consent for Waitohi

storage in line with the Zone Implementation Programme’s

preferred option.

The Long Term Plan contains further capital funding provision

for on-going renewal and refreshment of our Hanmer Springs

Thermal Pools and Spa complex.

ENC is also focusing on government’s rural broadband delivery

project (directed at schools and hospitals) to put together local

business consortia to investigate higher capacity broadband

services for rural businesses to create new wealth, as an

adjunct to the government’s programme. We will be involved in

consenting requirements for at least two new cell phone towers

that are planned as part of the roll-out.

Lift Education and Skills

ENC will continue to provide training and coaching programmes

aimed at improving local business skills and business capability.

ENC is carrying out work to support the Amuri Dairy Employers

Group and Dairy NZ to improve employment practices, and the

recruitment and retention of employees in the Amuri area.

We continue to run our Secondary Education School Achievers

Awards, giving out $10,000 annually to assist young people to

undertake further study.

We continue to run our Youth Development Programme, aimed

at helping young people develop skills – both leadership and


Our Library is supporting the INZONE Career Information

Kiosk initiative. This is aimed at helping young people identify

suitable career options.

Create a Growth-Enhancing Tax System

Tax legislation and practice are constantly changing and it can

be a challenge within a small council to maintain the level of

knowledge required to ensure compliance with the various

tax acts. In November 2009 we commissioned Toovey Eaton

McDonald Ltd to review our tax compliance. They were

impressed with the overall level of compliance. A number of

technical and relatively minor observations were made as part

of the review for staff to action.


Water Management

Canterbury Initiatives and Background

Water in Canterbury is a very topical and potentially

controversial issue, subject to many studies and public scrutiny.

The most wide ranging review in Canterbury to date has been

the Canterbury Strategic Water Study (CSWS). Stage 1 of the

CSWS, undertaken by Lincoln Environmental in response to

the severe drought of 1998 and published in 2002, concluded

that on an annual basis there is sufficient water in Canterbury

to meet likely future demand and development, but that there

were seasonal and geographic mismatches between supply and

demand. The initial study concluded that water storage and

distribution should be considered as part of meeting future

demands for water, to supplement supply in times of low natural


Under the auspices of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, and

facilitated by Crown and local funding, the CSWS progressed

from 2004 through to 2008, respectively identifying a wide range

of potential water storage sites (Stage 2), and then undertaking

initial high level desk top evaluations of a more limited

number of major storage options (Stage 3). These evaluations

incorporated environmental, social, cultural, recreational and

economic viewpoints and included multi stakeholder group

meetings. Stage 3 concluded that a range of issues, opportunities,

trade-offs and concerns would need to be considered and

managed for any of the storage options to be taken further. Of

all the options considered, the Hurunui catchment option (up

to 68,000 hectares of irrigated land) was seen to be perhaps the

most viable hydrologically, albeit not without other issues and

concerns for some stakeholders.

The CSWS findings were subsequently put on hold (from mid-

2008), while wider social, environmental and economic aspects

were canvassed in a structured feedback process (in late 2008).

The Canterbury Strategic Water Study itself was renamed

‘Canterbury Water Management Strategy’ (CWMS) as it moved

through Stage 4 reviews, which culminated in public consultation

in May 2009. This eventually resulted in the publication of the

finalised strategy in October and adopted by the Council in

November 2009.

The Wider Scene & Context:

A Hurunui Perspective

New Zealand’s GDP and national prosperity continues to

be based on primary production and exports from the land.

Recent developments at all levels seem to suggest that the

country’s reliance on its land based economy will become even

greater in the years ahead. Hurunui has a traditional focus on

grass fed food and fibre production, and the present and future

prosperity of our communities, and their wellbeing on all fronts,

relies on Hurunui continuing to play to this traditional primary

sector strength.

The downside effects of the severe droughts of the late 1990s

(which in fact triggered the initial Canterbury Strategic Water

Study) are testimony to the risk of “doing nothing” with

regard to future proofing our land based production, and our

community prosperity. These same droughts, and downturns

in the agricultural economy, led to major visible decline in

Hurunui’s rural townships, and the implementation of a Hurunui

Tourism strategy was one of the responses. Given the pressures

of the global economy, and international tourism outlook, it is

highly unlikely that tourism in Hurunui could be the platform for

widespread prosperity across all communities and sectors, going

forward. Although tourism will be important, it will not replace

traditional primary production. Further, it must be remembered

that our tourism model is land based, given the attractions of

our striking landscapes, the traditional North Canterbury rural

character and values, the unique Hanmer Springs alpine spa

village, viticulture in the Waipara Valley, and more.

We believe that this issue of prosperity and the critical

importance of our land based industries and exports, is even

more important than many New Zealanders presently realise.

World food production is coming under increasing pressure

from the competing interests of bio-fuel production, climate

change, world population increase, socio economic growth and

development in countries such as India and China….”our planet

and global communities need high quality food in ever increasing

volumes, and New Zealand’s key role, historically, presently and

into the future, is as an efficient and sustainable food producer

and exporter. Such exports will be crucial to provide for New

Zealand’s import hungry lifestyle and prosperity for all”.

The subject of water is therefore of major importance to us.

Given the drought prone nature of the Hurunui, we believe

the future prosperity of the district can only be assured with

reliable sources of water to irrigate and support an increasing

proportion of its “food and fibre” producing farmland. Further,

there is also an on-going challenge for us to provide plentiful

domestic and stock water supplies and to meet New Zealand’s

drinking water standards.

We firmly believe that this Long Term Plan represents the best

opportunity to demonstrate a sense of leadership, by continuing

to support the CWMS through the Hurunui-Waiau Zone


Hurunui – Waiau Zone Committee

In July 2010, the Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee was formed

as a joint committee of the Hurunui District Council and

Environment Canterbury. This committee was the first of the

Canterbury formed ‘Zone Committees’ to be established as part

of the broader Canterbury Water Management Strategy. The

Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee has worked collaboratively


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022

to develop recommendations on water management in as

described in the Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP). See

a summary of the ZIP appended to this Plan. A full copy is

available on our Council website.

The Zone Committee and this ZIP are part of implementing

the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) in

the Hurunui Waiau Zone. The CWMS sets as its first order

priorities: environment, customary use, community supplies

and stock water; with second order priorities as irrigation,

renewable electricity generation, recreation and amenity. The

Zone Committee recognizes that clean drinking water, land use,

water quality and quantity, environmental flows and allocation

for the rivers, biodiversity protection and enhancement,

irrigation, hydro power development and water storage options,

and the principles of kaitiakitanga are all (intimately) interrelated

and must be considered as a whole rather than in isolation. The

ZIP recommends actions and approaches for collaborative

and integrated water management solutions to achieve the

CWMS vision, “to enable present and future generations to

gain the greatest economic, environmental, recreational and

cultural benefits from our water resources”. In accordance

with the CWMS, the Zone Committee has arrived at its

recommendations through consensus.

Drinking Water Quality

Under this Strategy, we fully acknowledge that our focus on

productive development must be matched with a similar

energy and commitment to drinking water standards. See

the ‘Key Issues’ and ‘Water Supply’ sections of this plan for a

comprehensive explanation of our intentions to address this

issue across the Hurunui district.

Land and Water Quality Use Research

Council will continue to support initiatives, with Enterprise

North Canterbury and Environment Canterbury, and other

appropriate agencies, to position Hurunui at the forefront of

land use and water quality research programmes, projects and

pilots in the interests of Hurunui and all rural New Zealand. We

believe Hurunui is well placed to pursue this lead role, especially

given our dry east coast climate and our strong relationships

with entrepreneurial landowners and agencies. We believe that

this is a critically important component of our overall strategic

and comprehensive approach, particularly to demonstrate that

the Hurunui Water Management Strategy in relation to storage

and irrigation will require landowners to commit to best

industry practise and the uptake of available science.

Environmental, Social and

Recreational Interests

The environmental, social and recreational values of our

rivers and lakes are critical to the Hurunui. This point cannot

be overemphasised. We fully recognise this and support the

concept of having healthy rivers, lakes and streams in the

district. We have established a close working relationship with

the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury

and Ngai Tahu, and are extending this to other agencies and

interest groups on both a general and case specific basis. (e.g.

Our present work on the Waipara River is an example of our

commitment to play a proactive role in facilitating solutions

balancing environmental, recreational and other interests.)


It should be clear from this strategy that we see the Hurunui

Water Management Strategy as a critical component that has

the potential to influence, positively or negatively, every aspect

of wellbeing and prosperity in this district. Accordingly, we are

committed to pursue every advocacy role we can, in support of

the Hurunui Water Management Strategy. In particular, we will:

• Continue to play a positive, proactive part in the

Canterbury Water Management Strategy

• Lobby Government to position any water development

project that meet the aims of the ZIP as important

infrastructure developments, in the interests of Hurunui,

Canterbury and NZ

• Maintain and/or build relationships with all key

stakeholders and interest groups


The Key Principle of “Balance”

This section on Water Management as outlined has been

deliberately included to recognise the importance of the

strategic issue of water. We cannot over emphasise the key

principle of balance that we firmly believe must be achieved if

true prosperity for all is to result. This is not a strategy about

irrigation and land use development at any cost. It is equally

not a strategy about locking up our resources and assets for

the benefit of a few, whoever they may be. The guiding themes

of the Hurunui Water Management Strategy are responsible

and sustainable growth and development for Hurunui and the

prosperity of its communities. At the same time, it is to also

protect natural and traditional environmental and recreational

values, and a commitment to pursuing and applying best

practice land use and water quality research, scientific advances


in water use efficiency and water conservation. Hurunui is at

the forefront of this balanced, comprehensive and critically

important strategy. That is the role we are engaged in with our

community’s support and encouragement.

Hurunui River - Acrylic on Canvas - by Stella Sales


Hurunui Community Long Term Plan 2012 - 2022


• Walking and Cycling Strategy – the intention is to

develop a series of linking walking and cycling tracks in


the District

Sustainability is a key ideal of the Local Government Act

2002 which sets out the requirements for taking a sustainable

development approach, and advises that we should take into

account the social, economic, and cultural wellbeing of people

and communities; the need to maintain and enhance the quality

of the environment; and the reasonably foreseeable needs of

future generations.

These factors are relevant to most of our policies and activities,

and where appropriate, we will explicitly address the ideal of

sustainability in relation to these.

They also tie in with some climate change issues that merit

some discussion here. We are mindful of trends in these areas,

and will aim for compliance with any central government

initiatives, but the Hurunui District has long been subject to

adverse weather events, and we do not see climate change as a

matter of top priority.

This Plan

Sustainability issues are discussed throughout the Council

Activities chapter of this plan where they are explicitly addressed

as the “significant negative effects” and “sustainability”. In the

Policies section of this plan, the topic of sustainability is raised in

the Significance Policy, in which the current and future wellness

of the community is taken into consideration in determining

whether or not any issue is significant. It is also raised in the

Revenue & Financing policy, in which the sustainability of the

means of funding each Council service is considered.

“Environmental Responsibility” is a key desire expressed

through one of our community outcomes in this plan. This

outcome is described as:

A Place that Demonstrates Environmental Responsibility:

• We protect our environment while preserving people’s

property rights

• We minimise solid waste to the fullest extent, and

manage the rest in a sustainable way

Other Initiatives

We have a number of bylaws, strategies and other policies which

consider sustainable environmental issues. These include our:

• Biodiversity Strategy – this aims to ensure that the unique

natural values of the district are maintained and enhanced

by the council, landowners and other parties working

together in partnership, voluntarily and cooperatively, in a

non-regulatory framework


Hurunui Waiau Zone Implementation Programme

– the summary of this programme is included in the

appendices of this Long Term Plan

• Smoke Free Outdoors Strategy (which is under

development) – this is to encourage smoke free

outdoor areas in a non-regulatory manner

• Pegasus Bay Bylaw – aims to control activities and the

use of land, including camping, the use of horses and the

use of vehicles, on the foreshore, beaches and adjacent

areas of Northern Pegasus Bay to protect the important

natural values of the coastline.

• Freedom Camping Bylaw – encourages people to

freedom camp in a responsible manner and in designated

areas to protect the environment from harm

• Earthquake Strengthening Policy – sets out criteria to

make buildings more likely to withstand earthquakes.

The Canterbury earthquakes in 2010/11 have focused

our attention on the potential for earthquake prone

buildings in the District and we are in the process of

reviewing these now.

Climate Change

A “once in 50 year flood” on 30/31 July 2008 and a “once in 25

year flood” on 26 August 2008 caused widespread damage to

roads, fences, floodgates and tracks. This was compounded by

the fact that the floods came not long after a major drought,

due to which many farmers were already struggling financially.

The Ministry for the Environment warns us to expect an

increase in the frequency of such extreme weather events, and

compounding factors such as rising sea levels, due to “climate

change” brought about by “human activity increasing the natural

level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”.

This is a controversial topic, but whether or not the floods and

drought were caused by climate change, and whether or not

such climate change is primarily due to human influences (there

is much debate about this, even amongst the “experts”), it is

clear that we need to be prepared to respond to such events in

order for farming and other key activities in the District to be

economically and environmentally sustainable.

Potential sea level rise is also an issue we have to grapple with in

the District Plan review. Some of our small coastal settlements

are likely to be inundated, but the time frame for when such sea

level rises may impact is dependent on updated research and


Emissions Trading / Carbon Tax

The Emissions Trading Scheme was a central government driven

initiative aimed at moving New Zealand towards compliance

with international protocols for offsetting the human influenced

drivers of climate change. With the recent change of government

there has been some discussion as to whether a “carbon tax”

might be a more effective way of achieving this end.

Either way, it is likely that in the near future some financial

compensation will be required from industries that produce

emissions. In the Hurunui District, forestry and farming stand

to be most affected, but until the details of the Emissions Trading

Scheme (or carbon tax) are finalised, it is difficult to say precisely

what the impact upon these industries will be. Federated Farmers

have staff dedicated to monitoring and producing responses to

these issues, and should be able to provide reliable advice to

farmers on these matters in the coming years.


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