Overview of Annual Report 2022/23
A message from the Mayor and Chief Executive
He pito kōrero nā te Koromatua me te Tumu Whakarae.
E ngā mana, e ngā iwi, e ngā karangatanga maha
Greetings to everybody
Tēnā koutou katoa
Reforms, economy and the climate have all been factors in another bumpy twelve months. Inflation and interest rates increases are being driven higher than forecasted by domestic and global factors. As a Council we have managed the volatile economic climate to ensure we are still delivering the services we said we would.
These past twelve months we have tried to remain focused on business as usual in the continuing unpredictability, this has not been without its challenges, with a number of sectors still under pressure.
Being prepared for an emergency
We were fortunate to escape the number of weather events that hit our region with minimal infrastructural damage. Cyclone Gabrielle in February caused surface flooding, slips and road closures across the district.
This required us to activate our Emergency Management Operations Centre. Our emergency management team worked hard to provide the support where it was needed. The frequency of these large-scale weather events highlights the importance of being ready in an emergency. Make sure your whānau and those close to you are prepared and know what to do in an emergency.
Central Government reforms continue
Central Government reforms continued and it required us to be agile to the ever-changing legislation. The Water Services Reform (previously known as Three Waters Reform) has undergone some changes these past twelve months. The amendments have meant the four entities originally proposed will now multiply into ten and the establishment date of the entities has been extended. This means the entity will not take over July 2024 as first proposed. We are working with the Department of Internal Affairs and our Entity to work through the changes.
The Future for Local Government
The Future for Local Government Panel released its final report. The report is the panel’s final recommendations and findings about what is needed to ensure local government can best support local democracy, intergenerational wellbeing and Te tiriti partnership. This has given us some food for thought and we will be working through robust discussion of these recommendations and wait to see what comes from this review.
Resource Management reform continues
Resource management reform continues with the Natural and Built Environment and Spatial Planning bills passed in Parliament. This reform is intended to change the way the environment is managed. We are looking at significant changes to how we prepare and deliver plans. This reform is slow and steady with the transition advised it may take ten years. We will continue to work through the proposed change, and advocate for the best results for our district.
Some of what we achieved during 2022/23
Over the year we completed the following projects across a number of our activities.
As part of our ongoing project to install water meters in line with new technology, we installed 500 new water meters which will help us to better track our water demand.
Karangahake Reserve carpark
The development of overflow car parking at what is known as Cornes Paddock (Karangahake) was undertaken to provide more car parking for visitors to this area.
Whiritoa Beach Reserve and Kaiaua were upgraded with playground swings sets.
We awarded thirteen OnYa awards in 2022/23. These awards celebrate those who are making a positive difference in their community.
Gr8 Job Hauraki
Continued its success with 60 placements in 2022/23. Putting local people into local jobs. This collaboration between Council, other government agencies, and local business continues to help strengthen our communities’ resilience and improve the recovery and wellbeing of our community.
Interpreting the financials
In terms of our financials, we ended the year with a $9.2 million deficit. This was $13 million more than what we had anticipated.
Effect of weather events on our infrastructure
Although revenue was slightly higher than anticipated, operational expenditure was significantly higher than projected. The weather events (previously mentioned) caused surface damage to a number of Council’s roads, which required immediate repairs.
In addition to this flooding, landslides and extreme wind, also caused an accumulation of silt, and debris throughout our water and wastewater network needing to be treated. The additional chemicals, energy and maintenance work required as part of this work programme was extensive and costly.
Other financial cost increases
Other costs also continued to increase with inflationary pressures across the board and Council is acutely aware of needing to mitigate these moving forward. We have had nearly twelve months in our new triennium and our new Council has hit the ground running.
We are proud of the Hauraki District and the continued resilience and willingness to move forward to make this place great for generations to come.