Council adopts Annual Report 2016/17

Published: 07 Nov 2017

For the full Annual Report 2016/17 click HERE

Message from the Mayor and Chief Executive

We bid you a very warm welcome, and commend to you, the Waimate District Council’s 2016/17 Annual Report. This is our opportunity to tell you about our successes. It has been another busy year, with a significant amount of work successfully completed.

Financial Performance
Council reported a surplus of $2,131,000 against a reported Long Term Plan (LTP) budget surplus of $1,259,000.  The major variances are:

  • Community donations to support the building of the Waimate Event Centre are above LTP budget, and support additional work on the build.
  • The value of the Waimate Event Centre exceeds LTP expectations, contributing $0.5m more to the surplus than budgeted in the LTP.
  • The vesting of the assets at Boland Park into Council, was not anticipated in the LTP and contributes additional surplus over that in the LTP.
  • Income from sales of sections at Eric Batchelor Place was not in this year’s LTP targets, and therefore contributes to a higher surplus than budgeted.
  • NZ Transport Agency government grants were slightly lower than budgeted in LTP, as work was delayed or deferred in part due to weather.

Council Vision
In December 2016, Council set a new vision “Leading our communities towards a diverse, thriving and sustainable district.” From this point on, everything Council does will work towards achieving this vision.

Local Government Elections
Elections were held in October 2016 bringing two new Councillors to the Council table – former Mayor David Owen for the Waimate Ward and Jakki Guilford representing the Hakataramea/Waihaorunga Ward.

Infrastructure Upgrades
Council continued to maintain and develop the infrastructure network, with a number of projects completed. These included urban and rural renewal programmes, and high-level maintenance of the urban water treatment plant.
Major work began in November 2016 on the Mill Road Sewer Extension to extend the development of the town wastewater system. The project was completed in March 2017.

Waimate Event Centre
One of the more visible major projects we accomplished was the construction of the Waimate Event Centre which was officially opened on 17 December 2016. The facility is well patronised by both rural and urban sectors of the community with an evident increase in the membership of local sports clubs and organisations.
The Information Centre relocated to the Waimate Event Centre in December 2016 from the Old Post office building; where staff now provide a joint Information/Event Centre service.

Key Strategies

Council has been working on two key documents throughout the year.
Late in 2016 Council commenced the production of the ten-year Sport and Recreation Plan by undertaking community engagement and identifying themes to develop priority action sub-plans. A focus of the Plan will be on walking and cycling tracks.
Early in 2017 Council began work on a Waimate District Economic Development Strategy which, with the input from the Waimate District community, will focus and inform future development of our wonderful District.  A programme of public engagement took place and the feedback received gave us a greater understanding of our community’s priorities. The themes identified will focus on improving information communication technology (ICT) connectivity and infrastructure, growing the visitor economy, beautification of town entrances and main streets, growing and attracting businesses and residents, and enhancing employment and education.
It is anticipated both documents and the first phase of implementation will be completed in the 2017/18 financial year.

Knottingley Park and Arboretum
In April 2017 the green light was given for Council’s 34-hectare Knottingley Park to be gazetted as an Arboretum and will now be named ‘Knottingley Park and Arboretum’. The proposal was initiated by the community group ‘Friends of Knottingley Park’ and will better reflect the diversity that this park offers, and recognise the age and uniqueness of this “Jewel in the Crown” of Waimate parks.

Citizenship Ceremonies
It is very encouraging to see more people from outside New Zealand are choosing to live in our District. In the 2016/17 year, there were 19 people that conducted their Citizenship Ceremonies at Council, more than double the previous year.

And Finally
As an agile Council we are working hard to respond to our community’s requests and creating opportunities for growth, while still keeping on track with our priorities as set out in the Long Term Plan. The major challenge will always be continuing to deliver a range of core services in an affordable and prudent way.
Our success this year is due to a team of people – councillors, staff, volunteers and the wider community – for making 2016/17 a successful year.

Craig Rowley               Stuart Duncan
Mayor                         Chief Executive