Our Annual Plan 2023/24

Every year we plan for the coming year. The Annual Plan is made after receiving input from you about the services you need. The plan also outlines major projects we are undertaking, and how these will be paid for.

Welcome to our Annual Plan Hub

Annual Plan 2023/24
Download your online copy here.

At the Te Puna Kōrero committee meeting on 8 June, Council deliberated on the key proposals that were consulted with the public as part of developing the draft Annual Plan 2023/24.

What is the Annual Plan?

Like all local councils, every three years we prepare a Long-term Plan (LTP), including a 30-year infrastructure plan, outlining what we plan to achieve over the next 30 years, and how we’ll pay for it. Our most recent LTP covers 2021–2051.

In the years between Long-term Plans, we develop an Annual Plan that sets out what we want to achieve, and the budget for the year ahead. Read our Annual Plan FAQ’s at the bottom of the page.

Read about the big issues facing our city


We are acutely aware that any rates rise will have a huge impact on already strained household budgets. Though lockdowns are behind us, we are still dealing with ongoing financial impacts of the Covid pandemic – for example, supply chain issues restricting the availability of products and pushing up prices. Frequent and ongoing climate events are also putting pressure on councils across the country and are a constant reminder of why we need to invest in resilient infrastructure.

Due to the slow down in the economy, especially around housing, we are also facing uncertainties around our overall revenue. This puts further financial pressure on Council in these already challenging times.Everything is more expensive now – the weekly shop, childcare, tradie fees, and petrol. Councils right across the country are feeling it too. Our costs have gone up much more than we anticipated and even though we put aside money to respond to this, it isn't enough. If we were to fund everything we budgeted for in our Long-term Plan (LTP), we’d need to apply a rates increase of 23 per cent. That's not something we can do to our community in these economic times. As you know, there’s only so much we can put on the Council credit card and, like households, at some point, we’ll reach our limit or have high debt that will become a challenge to pay back.

At the end of 2022, Wellington Water advised us they too are feeling the effects of the post-covid economy and would need an additional $5.7m to deliver the same level of service they had agreed to in the LTP. Like households, and Council, they have seen significant cost increases across the services they provide since then. Although we budget for inflation rises, the cost increases are beyond what we planned for in our LTP.

What does Wellington Water do?

Wellington Water manages water treatment and supply, wastewater, and stormwater service delivery for Porirua City. Wellington Water is Council-owned and funded. Their job is to provide safe and healthy drinking water, collect and treat wastewater, and ensure the stormwater network is well managed, while respecting the environments from which they collect and return water.

Councils own the water infrastructure in the region, and Wellington Water manage the infrastructure and deliver water services to our communities

Why are Wellington Water asking for more money?

Wellington Water are facing cost increases across their services from impacts of inflation, increased cost for contractors and materials, and rising demand for water as the city grows and water is lost through leaking pipes. The increased funding is needed to maintain and operate Porirua City’s 3 Waters assets for the financial year 2023/24.

The $5.7m increase across Wellington Water’s services to Porirua City include:

  • planned and reactive maintenance and operational costs for drinking water and wastewater treatment plants
  • planned maintenance for water and wastewater pump stations, and stormwater maintenance activities
  • reactive maintenance to fix water leaks
  • monitoring and investigations tasks, including condition assessments, resource consent compliance monitoring, water sampling and monitoring investigations.

We are funding $2.1m of Wellington Water's request from the Government's 3 Waters reform Better Off Funding grant. That leaves a shortfall of $3.6m.

Why is fixing water leaks important?

If we don’t agree to the request for additional funding, Wellington Water have told Council the number of outstanding leaks will grow. They have indicated it may take their contractors up to a year to repair minor leaks.

What would happen if we didn’t fund it?

The consequence of not funding the $3.6m funding gap would mean a drop in the amount of water-related work completed in the city. In particular, there would be an increasing number of leaks not responded to, and contractors are unlikely to respond to minor, low-flow leaks for the next 12 months between July 2023 and June 2024.

Why is this important?

Investing in 3 Waters infrastructure is one of our strategic priorities. Investment is essential as resilient pipes and infrastructure is fundamental to protecting our harbour and mitigating climate change. Any short-term savings we try to make here would quickly be wiped out by the longer-term costs of neglect in maintenance, and we don’t want to take that risk.

Item 1: Our water services Item 2: Fees and charges
Option 1: Increase rates by 7.65% as agreed in our LTP.
If we choose this option, we will need to accept that there will be an increased backlog of leaks building up, as there would be more delays in responding to
minor leaks.
Option 1: Keep fees at agreed LTP increases
of 1.5% for non-regulatory fees and 3% for regulatory fees. This would have no reduction in debt or the balanced budget deficit.
Option 2: Increase rates by 9.71%.
If we choose this option, we could fund the shortfall needed for our water services to remain the same. This would
be funded half by rates and half by debt.
Option 2: Raise the non-regulatory fees
increase from 1.5 to 3% and regulatory fees from 3 to 8%. This reduces the balanced budget deficit and
debt. This does increase the costs to users of some of our services.
Option3: Increase rates by 11.8%.
If we choose this option, our water services would remain the same. This would be funded through rates only, meaning we would incur less debt
Option3: Keep the agreed LTP increase for non-regulatory fees of 1.5% and raise the regulatory fees increase from 3 to 8%.
This reduces the balanced budget deficit and debt. This does not increase the costs to users of some of our services such as pool entry, but does increase the costs to users of other services such as dog registrations and building consents.

We are committed to protecting our harbour and responding to the climate crisis by continuing to prioritise our investment in water services – so we’re proposing at 9.71% increase.

There are three rate increase options on the table in this consultation document. We are proposing a 9.71 per cent increase as the best way to address increasing costs and shortfalls in funding for crucial water services. We want to reduce the burden on ratepayers, while maintaining existing levels of service by funding the water infrastructure shortfall half by rates and half by debt. We believe that this option allows us to keep rates as low as we can, while continuing to provide vital services for the city.

With these factors in mind, our preferred options are as follows:

Item 1: Our water services

Option 2 Preferred

In order to reduce some of the burden on ratepayers, while maintaining existing levels of service, we would prefer to fund the 3.6m Wellington Water increase half by rates and half by debt. This way we keep the rates as low as we can while not moving the total burden forward onto ratepayers in the next LTP.

Item 2: Fees and charges

Option 2 Preferred

Again, to reduce the burden on ratepayers, our preferred option is to increase non-regulatory fees to 3 per cent and regulatory fees to 8 per cent. This way the cost of inflation on services is shared by the user and the ratepayer, rather than solely falling to the ratepayer.

When deciding how to fund Council services, we consider who benefits from the service – individuals, parts of the community, or the community as a whole. For some services, fees and charges apply, so the cost is shared fairly between users of a service

and ratepayers. There are two types of fees - non-regulatory fees are things like swimming pool entry and sportsground hire, while regulatory fees cover things such as building consents, resource consents, alcohol licences and dog registrations.

What we agreed in our last LTP

Council agreed to increase non-regulatory fees by 1.5 per cent and regulatory fees by 3 per cent each year for the first three years of the LTP. We have kept these increases at the agreed levels for two years. We are now in the third year of the LTP and we’re asking your feedback on whether we should re-look at how much we are charging in fees across different areas.

What this means

If we raise all, or some, of our fees and charges we reduce their impact on ratepayers and spread this more evenly across people who are using our services. Our facilities and services aren’t just used by people living in Porirua, they’re also used by people living and working across the region, as well as visitors from other parts of the country. If we chose to increase our fees by 3 per cent for non-regulatory and 8 per cent for regulatory, this would mean an additional 10 cents for children’s pool entry and an extra $11 for some dog fees.

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Long-term planning

Our Long-term Plan (LTP) sets out the priorities, projects and activities we’ll be focusing on over the next 30 years.

Wellington Water

Council recently heard from Wellington Water on the key issues facing our city with regard to the three waters: drinking water, wastewater (all the water that goes down our sinks and toilets) and stormwater (rain water that runs off our roofs and streets)

Frequently asked questions

How does the Council's planning process work?

Every three years – part way through each election term – the city is required to develop and adopt a long-term plan. In the years between long-term plans  annual plans are produced that outline any changes to the budget. At the end of each year, an annual report and summary annual report let the community know about what’s been achieved and how we have performed, as well as anything that hasn’t quite gone to plan or anything unexpected that’s come up.

What is an annual plan?

Annual plans are produced for the years between long-term plans. Annual plans give us the opportunity to refresh information and budgets for the coming year, and include the setting of rates.

Why do our rates increase every year?

The Council sets its budget each year. New activities and the quality or quantity of our services determine how much money the Council needs to collect. 

Your property value determines the share of the rates increase that you will pay relative to other property owners in the city.

How are properties valued?

The Council contracts Quotable Value to perform property revaluations every three years. Quotable Value determines the value of your property by looking at the selling price of similar properties in the area.

Why can councils choose not to consult on annual plans?

A series of amendments were made to the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) in 2014 to encourage new ways of consulting and communicating with the community.

One of these amendments removed the requirement for councils to formally consult “if there are no significant or material differences to the content of the long-term plan”. This now makes formal consultation on proposed annual plans exceptions based.

An annual plan that includes an overview of any minor changes in costs (along with all other information required under Part 2 of Schedule 10 of the Act) must still be prepared and adopted by council resolution before 1 July.

How do we determine what's significant

Section 5 of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) describes “significance” as the degree of importance of any issue, proposal, decision, or matter, as assessed by the local authority, in terms of its likely impact on, and consequences for:

  • the city (district) or region
  • anyone likely to be particularly affected or interested
  • the capacity of the local authority to perform its role, and the financial and other costs of doing so.

Section 5 also describes “significant” as any issue, proposal, decision, or other matter having a “high degree of significance, that is:

  • significant or material variations/departures from the financial statements or funding impact statement in the long-term plan
  • significant new spending proposals, and the associated costs, or
  • substantial delays to, or cancellation of, significant projects, and associated implications. 

The Council is required to have a significance and engagement policy under Section 76AA of the Local Government Act 2002. The Policy is reviewed every three years as part of long-term plans.

Significance is more than a financial impact, and often items with low value but that have high public interest can be significant.

Significance is ultimately determined by the elected members – find out more here

What’s the difference between formal consultation and engagement?

Consultation involves receiving public feedback on proposals, and is one form of engagement. The Council regularly consults communities through process such as the long-term plan, which determine Council’s strategic direction, as well as how it sets budgets and prioritises projects. 

The Council will consult with the community about significant decisions following the principles set out in Section 82 of the Act. The Council can also decide to consult at any time on a decision, where it considers that appropriate. For most Council decisions, there is no express requirement to consult the public, but we will consider people’s views and preferences. 

Engagement is a broader and ongoing process of sharing information with the community and seeking its feedback, with the purpose of involving the community in the process of decision making. This may or may not include a more formal consultation process.

What if I have feedback for the Council?

We are happy to receive feedback at any time throughout the year, not just at annual plan time. Please get in touch if you want to share your ideas, have some positive feedback about our staff, or have something you are not so happy about here.

What is a Long-term Plan?

The Long-term Plan (LTP) is the capital and operational expenditure the Council intends to undertake over the next thirty years, and the impacts on the community.

The LTP describes these impacts in financial and non-financial terms, through financial statements and the resulting changes to rates and debt. The non-financial terms are mainly the performance measures relating to the levels of service. 

It’s important to remember that the LTP is only a forecast and the actual results may be different, particularly after year 4, as there is a new LTP developed every three years.

What is required when amending a Long-term Plan?

The amendment process would depend on the complexity of the amendment, but any amendment must go through a formal public consultation and submission process where the proposal is considered by the community for no less than one calendar month. Any amendment must be externally audited.

How else can I give feedback throughout the year?

We have an online community panel Our Porirua City with over 800 members of the Porirua community. The panel receives surveys every now and then about different issues or ideas. Sign up to our Community Panel 'Our Porirua City'

Annual Plans