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2024-2034 Long Term Plan Incorporating amendment to Revenue and Financing Policy and Draft Development Contributions policy


Destroyed housesCyclone Gabrielle caused unprecedented damage across Hastings in February last year, resulting in our district facing significant costs to pay for repairs.

The cost to repair more than 100kms of roads, replace 13 smashed bridges and repair 28 damaged ones, replace and repair 2000-plus culverts, and clean up the rest of the 800-plus slips is $950 million. On top of that is the $50m cost for Council’s half of the Category 3 Voluntary Buy-out Programme, and $10m for repairing three waters infrastructure, clearing and reinstating parks and managing the repair work. Government, primarily through the New Zealand Transport Agency, will materially contribute to the cost of the repairs, however Council will still have to borrow circa $230m for cyclone-related repairs.

The work will be loan-funded and including interest the cost to Council, and therefore ratepayers, is forecasted to be $17m a year for 16 years.

To pay for this, Council’s draft plan recommends introducing a ‘cyclone recovery targeted rate’.

All properties would pay a portion of the cost as, while the bulk of the damage occurred in rural areas, the whole district benefits economically from primary industry-related infrastructure.

If it was shared evenly across all properties, it would equate to $620 a year, however, the proposal would see the rate differ from property by property as a portion of it would be levied as a percentage of land value, and it would be charged at a higher rate in the rural areas, reflecting the direct benefit in those areas. Two lines would appear on your rates bill – a fixed charge and a percentage charge.

For more information read the Draft Long Term Plan consultation document here

WWTPKeeping critical infrastructure well-maintained and replacing ageing elements in a timely manner is a priority, to avoid expensive emergency repairs.

Looking after, replacing and adding three waters infrastructure is included in this plan, as there is not yet certainty around Government’s plan for the on-going management of it.

Three waters

Drinking water: on-going leak detection and repair; continuing upgrading of network and systems ($70m)

Wastewater: renewing infrastructure; vulnerability detection; completing current growth projects ($158m)

Stormwater: Severe weather event planning; growth-related stormwater capacity ($42m)


It is estimated that transport-related work in Hastings (not including cyclone-related repairs) will cost $425million over the next 10 years. Network repairs and renewals include bridge retaining walls, road rebuilds, road resealing, metalling roads, maintaining road-sde drainage, footpath maintenance and renewal, road-side mowing, litter pick-up and seed control (slowed focus), road safety projects, walking and cycling network (no new projects in first five years of plan), and key corridor development (Karamū Rd, St Aubyn St, Pakowhai Rd, Maraekākaho Rd), key rural route roading improvements.


The main focus in the waste area is on developing a new cell (pit) at ōmarunui landfill – a project brought forward in response to the amount of waste caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, a project with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council designed to protect the Tukituki River from the historic Blackbridge landfill (closed 1979), and implementing the kerbside food scrap collection required by central Government.

Puketapu ParkAs well as carefully scrutinising current budgets for savings, Council has set a further savings target of 2.5 per cent in year one of the plan. In a second phase, Council is committed to identifying (by December 2024) further savings in the 2025/26 financial year. Council has also ‘stretched’ out the capital works programme to avoid having to borrow too much too quickly.

Taking a breather

Following considerable investment into things like our parks, playgrounds, central city upgrades, and walking and cycling paths, Council is ‘taking a breather’ from these types of projects: essentially focusing on infrastructure and maintaining services our people need.

The plan also includes a proposal to close Frimley Pool, given its very low use rates and considerable cost to keep open. Read more about that below.

Tell us what you think: There is an option to continue investing in projects outside of core infrastructures and services, but that will impact on debt levels and rates.

Housing mahoraAn average 25 per cent increase in rates in year one (2024/25 financial year) is proposed in this plan – eight per cent to fund cyclone repair costs and 17 per cent to fund essential non-cyclone infrastructure and service costs.

The plan shows an average 15 per cent increase in year two and 10 per cent in year three, falling from year four to below five per cent for Rating Area One (urban area) and sitting about seven per cent in Rating Area Two (rural).

The rationale is to attack the debt required to fund cyclone repairs and essential infrastructure in the first three years, to allow much reduced increases from year four.

Tell us what you think: The document includes an option to spread the increases, resulting in a 19 per cent increase in year one; however this will require significant cuts to services and/or higher rate increases over more years.

Property-level impacts

The rate increase figures are an average, so the effect on individual properties will differ, depending on, its value, its use (e.g. commercial, residential), where it is, and the services available to it (water, rubbish collection etc) all impact on the rates paid on it.

On Council’s website you can enter your address here to see how the proposed rate increase will impact your property.

Council has prepared some examples of the impact:

Rating Areas


There are two elements to this section of the plan.

While the infrastructure required for growth (three waters, roads etc) is paid for by developers  (via Development Contribution fees), there is a risk to ratepayers if infrastructure is built and the area does not become developed – leaving ratepayers to fund interest on the loan until Development Contributions become available.

Council is suggesting completing current projects but proceeding with caution into new areas for development, to mitigate that risk.

The proposed Development Contribution increases are:

Development Contributions

Read the Draft Development Contributions Policy here

Frimley PoolThe plan proposes closing Frimley Pool, given low use rates and the costs to keep it open.

At such low numbers, operating the pool costs $32 per user, with adults (aged over 18) paying just $6 for entry. Ratepayers fund the balance.

The rapidly declining use of the pool, future investment requirements, the availability of lane-swimming at the nearby Hawke's Bay Regional Aquatic Centre, and a recommendation in the Aquatics Strategy to close the pool are the key reasons.

Closure of the pool would save about $250,000 per annum. Some plant and equipment could be repurposed to other pools.

Council is in discussion with schools that have historically used the pool and may consider alternative arrangements with them or other interested parties such as leasing if that is workable.

Given the land’s reserve status, the most likely future use of the site is as an extension of Frimley Park. Some closure and reinstatement costs would be incurred but these would be funded from savings from closing the pool.

Lego people 2Hastings ratepayers and residents can comment on anything within the plan: what they like or don’t like, what should be included, what should be removed, ideas for making savings . . .

But there are four areas we are highlighting for consultation (for the details see pages 33 to 45 in the Draft Long Term Plan consultation document):

  • A new cyclone rate, spread across the district, to pay for repairs inflicted by Cyclone Gabrielle
  • Growth planning and increased Development Contributions (paid by developers to fund growth)
  • Making savings by delaying non-essential projects (except those required by circumstances outside of Council control); including by closing Frimley Pool
  • Funding and debt management

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