The Long Term Plan sets out the services and projects Council intends to deliver to the community over a 10-year period and how these will be funded. It also captures the long-term visions for the district and outlines what Council will do to contribute towards achieving these.


As part of the process for the writing the 2015/25 Long Term Plan, Clutha District Councillors attended a series of workshops on key topics.

Information discussed at the workshops is posted below to keep residents and ratepayers informed.

Please note: all the issues - and figures - included in this summary are based on directions Council has given to staff to prepare the Long Term Plan and Consultation Document. The next step is that the document is finalised as a draft and made available for auditing. Nothing can be formally adopted by Council for consultation until the draft Long Term Plan and Consultation Document have been audited later in March.

Direction Setting Workshop - 29 January 2015

Outlined below are the main points of the meeting and the directions given.


           Councillors directed that the following rates movement for the entire Clutha District over the next 10 years will be:

  • 2015/16 - 2.54% increase

  • 2016/17 - 3.10% increase

  • 2017/18 -  3.16% increase

  • 2018/19 -  3.34% increase

  • 2019/20 -  3.81% increase

  • 2020/21 -  2.81% increase

  • 2021/22 -  2.16% increase

  • 2022/23 -  3.17% increase

  • 2023/24 -  3.32% increase

  • 2024/25 -  1.24% increase


Councillors also agreed to:

  •  Set a rates cap of 4% for each year of the Long Term Plan.

  • That interest on Council debt will not exceed 10% of rates revenue and that Council's total debt per capita will not exceed $1800 - it's currently set at $1500.

  • That Council has sufficient investments over the life of the Long Term Plan to continue to borrow internally.

  • Initiate a project to consider the impacts of setting a rates cap at a substantially lower threshold than 4%.


Council directed to proceed with a proposal to introduce the same water rate for all of the district's urban communities. After a three year phase in period, each of the 11 communities will pay the same water, sewerage and stormwater rates (known as the 3 waters). Currently each of the individual urban communities pays a different rate for their 3 water' services.


The reasoning is that you pay for a 'level of service' and as all the communities have a very similar level of service, they should be paying the same amount. The district started to move away from a strict user-pays model in 2009 when Council capped urban water and sewerage rates so no-one paid more than 25% above the average rate, regardless of where they lived. This is another step away from user pays.


Using the average rates and comparing what a household would pay under the current system and what a household would pay under the proposed one water scheme, at the end of the three year phase in period (2017/2018), the effect for each community would be:


  •              Balclutha and Stirling households would pay more under the proposed one water  scheme than the current system.

  • Clinton, Kaitangata, Kaka Point, Lawrence, Milton, Owaka, Tapanui and Waihola would pay less under the proposed one water scheme than the current system.


Councillors directed the following changes to the fees and charges in the Long Term Plan:

  • Swimming pool admission prices at the Balclutha and Milton pools to increase by $1 from 1 July 2015. This is because Council's funding policy requires a certain amount of revenue from the pool users to contribute to its costs. The amount recovered from the pool in the past has never come close to meeting the required amount, so Councillors agreed it was fair to increase admission prices. It means casual rates would go from $3 to $4 for a swim.  Council will continue to support free use of Council pools for school swimming programmes to enable students to learn water safety skills.

  • Landfill charges at Mt Cooee to increase by 25%. The latest information shows that wheelie bin collection accounts for only 30% of the waste going into Mt Cooee. 70% of it comes through the gate. Previously it was thought to be the other way around. As with the pools, it transfers more of the cost burden of the service to those who are using it most. It means a car would pay $18 in 2015/16, it's currently paying $13 and a car with a trailer jumps from $23 to $30 in 2015/16. Consequently, the benefit to wheelie bin customers is a reduction in wheelie bin rates.

  • Building consents fees to increase by 20% on average.  Council's current funding policy is that we have to recover 80-90% from building consents; at the moment we're recovering about 65% meaning ratepayers are subsidising the building activity to a significant degree. This would still keep our fees within the range of our neighbouring districts.


At a previous Council meeting in 2014, Councillors agreed that the four key issues to bring to the attention of the public were how to promote growth in the district, rates affordability, changes to roading funding and what that means for roads and whether to charge a single urban rate for water services. These issues will be prominent in the Consultation Document due out in April. At this workshop Councillors also agreed to highlight the following community specific issues in the Consultation Document:

  • Funding for the next stage of the Balclutha main street upgrade

  • The future of Paterson Creek storm water drainage and upgrades in Tapanui

  • New storm water rates for Heriot, Pounawea, Stirling, Waihola and Taieri Mouth (this is separate from the one water issue).

  • Explore options for rubbish and recycling collection in Clutha Valley.

  • The future of the Kaitangata Swimming Pool

  • The future of the Kaitangata War Memorial Hall

  • The future of the Hina Hina Bridge

  • A plan for sealing the Nuggets Road

  • A review of the Balclutha i-SITE location and the potential co-location of services

  • The Council's 'living and working' project aimed at promoting growth in the district.

  • Council is also required to include its economic development strategy, revenue and financing policy, remission of rates and remission and postponement of rates on Maori freehold land.

Please note: all the issues - and figures - included in this summary are based on directions Council has given to staff to prepare the Long Term Plan and Consultation Document. The next step is that the document is finalised as a draft and made available for auditing. Nothing can be formally adopted by Council for consultation until the draft Long Term Plan and Consultation Document have been audited later in March.

Transportation Workshop - 26 November 2014

A workshop was held in November to talk about roads and bridges and other transportation topics, below are the main points that were up for discussion.

Currently, the Council spends about $14 million a year on local roads and in the past 61% of that has come from central government.

However, that figure, known as the Financial Assistance Rate or FAR, will drop to 59% over the next two years.

Clutha has the third longest network of local roads in the country, with almost 3000km - about 850km of that is sealed.

The standard of roads across New Zealand is also under the microscope, as part of the New Zealand Transport Agency's One Network Roading Classification (ONRC), the aim being to give motorists the same roading experience whether they're driving in Gisborne or Otago.

The change in FAR and the ONRC mean the level of service for some of Clutha's roads will also change.

If we choose to maintain our roads to a better level of service than the 'national standard' set by the NZTA, then Council would have to pay for that work.

With resources needing to stretch further, money needs to be spent on roads where ratepayers will get the "best bang for their buck".

While Council believes the district's roads are currently in a significantly better state than the targets being set by the NZTA, especially our sealed roads, the result of these changes in the roading landscape meant Councillors debated the following subjects at the Transportation Workshop.

  • Whether to reduce the capital programme for sealed roads, this would mean less road rehabilitations and resealing as the current standard is believed to be generally higher than what would be funded under the NZTA   

  • One Network Roading Classification.   It would result in a minor increase in spending on maintenance and drainage and create a minor increased risk of one-off sealed road failures.

  • Whether to use some of the savings from spending less, to create a contingency fund for any failures on the sealed road network.

  • To make no major changes to the programme for unsealed roads, at this stage.

  • To fund depreciation for bridge repairs and replacements depreciation at the current level.

  •  Investigating options and carrying out economic analysis of the Hina Hina Bridge, to prioritise it in terms of work needed on the overall bridge network

  • Whether to include funds in the 2015/16 budget for further work on areas held over from the Balclutha main street upgrade, such as the town hall area.

  • Whether to include funds to seal the Nuggets Road, this would be subject to NZTA approval and part funding.

  • Whether to fund footpath depreciation from now on to maintain and repair the existing footpath network.

  •  Whether to proceed with a business case for changing to LED street lighting.





The Long Term Plan sets out the services and projects Council intends to deliver to the community over a 10-year period and how these will be funded.


It also captures the long-term visions for the district and outlines what Clutha District Council will do to contribute towards achieving these.


The final Long Term Plan was adopted at a special meeting on Thursday 21 June starting at 5.30pm.


If you are looking for the Long Term Plan 2009-19, please click here



Entire Draft Long Term Plan 2012-22 (PDF, 7.4MB, opens new window)

The entire 200+ page plan, or download individual sections below.


Auditors Report (PDF, 1.2MB, opens new window)


Section 1 (Introduction) (PDF, 523kb, opens new window)

Introduction to the Long Term Plan including the Word from the Mayor and the Chief Executive?s Introduction.


Section 2 (Community Outcomes) (PDF, 1.5MB, opens new window)

The overarching goals that Council aims to achieve for the communities of the Clutha District.


Section 3 (Key Issues) (PDF, 1MB, opens new window)

The key issues faced by Council and our communities over the next ten years, including how Council intends to respond to them.


Section 4 (Community Summaries) (PDF, 1.1MB, opens new window)

This section outlines the services Council provides in each of its eleven rating areas, as well as what is planned for each of the during the next ten years. It also outlines and explains why rates are expected to change in each community over the life of the plan.

Balclutha (PDF, 374kb, opens new window)

Clinton (PDF, 350kb, opens new window)

Kaitangata (PDF, 329kb, opens new window)

Kaka Point (PDF, 334kb, opens new window)

Lawrence (PDF, 332kb, opens new window)

Milton (PDF, 340kb, opens new window)

Owaka  (PDF, 329kb, opens new window)

Stirling (PDF, 327kb, opens new window)

Tapanui (PDF, 330kb, opens new window)

Waihola (PDF, 316kb, opens new window)

Rural Clutha District (PDF, 476kb, opens new window)

Benhar and Tokoiti (PDF, 310kb, opens new window)


Section 5 (Council?s Activities) (PDF, 1.8MB, opens new window)

This section outlines how Council plans to maintain, measure and fund each of its eight groups of activities (Community Leadership, Roading, Water Supply, Sewerage, Stormwater, Solid Waste Management, Community Services and Regulatory & Emergency Services).


Section 6 (Financial Information) (PDF, 1.1MB, opens new window)

Financial information including prospective financial statements and detailed description of proposed rates.


Section 7 (Key Policies) (PDF, 603kb, opens new window)

Key Policies including the Revenue and Financing Policy and draft Policy on Early Payment of Benhar and Tokoiti Capital Sewerage Rates.


Fees and Charges 2012/13 (PDF, 491kb, opens new window)



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