Upper Hutt's Long Term Plan adopted

Published on 01 July 2024

Long Term Plan 2024 - 2034

Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2024 – 2034 was formally adopted on 27 June following community consultation from 2 April to 12 May. 

The LTP is one of Council’s most important documents, it outlines what Council will do, how much it will cost and how it will be funded.

This plan sets out a back-to-basics approach that would deliver core activities, maintain infrastructure, and continue to build financial resilience. 

“New Zealand’s economy is facing significant challenges, which have impacted councils throughout the country,” says Mayor Wayne Guppy.

While there was a strong response to the rates increases, Mayor Guppy says Council had no other funding options to ensure Council could fulfil both the required infrastructure investment and its financial obligations.

On average, rates will increase by 19.93% in Year 1. In response to public submissions during the consultation period, Council was able to drop the Year 3 rates increase to 13.89% from 19.88%. The average rates rise over the 10 years of the LTP will now be 8.96%. At the end of the 10-year period Upper Hutt will still be amongst the lowest residential rates in the region and New Zealand.

““We recognise that our community is under financial pressure. The high cost of living, interest rates, inflation, insurance, and fuel prices are causing financial strain for many,” says Mayor Guppy.

As part of this plan, Council is proceeding with a realistic level of investment in Upper Hutt’s water services, which is increasing to more than 40% of Council’s total spend.

Following consultation, Council decided to continue funding community grants and to reinstate current funding levels for city marketing and events from Year 4 (27/28) of the LTP.

Mayor Guppy says members of the community provided strong feedback in support of proposals to reduce funding for the Council activity areas and most existing contestable grants, as outlined in the consultation document.

“Difficult choices needed to be made to ensure Council is financially sustainable and serves Upper Hutt in the right way,” he says.

“We thoroughly reviewed Council’s structure, services, and projects to find areas where spending can be reduced or deferred.”

Council’s Chief Executive Geoff Swainson has also released a proposal for consultation with council staff about an organisational restructure to further reduce operational costs. 

“This has been a challenging time for everyone, and I commend the professionalism and commitment of our people. Our priority is to support them through this process,” says Swainson.

Mayor Guppy thanked all those who provided feedback. 

“We appreciate the time taken by members of the community to give their views and thank them for working with us on the unprecedented and difficult issues we are dealing with,” he says.

“We are committed to this plan, which will provide a resilient pathway for our vibrant, green, and connected city for generations to come.” 

 

For more information, go to upperhuttcity.com/ltp