Annual Plan: Introduction We have worked hard to keep rates increases to a minimum and are pleased to advise that the district average rate will only increase by 1.34%. When we look at average rates over our three year term this would actually mean average rates have decreased by 1.66% annually or a total of 6.27%. This has been achieved without reducing levels of service, and means that over the term of this Council the rates required have not increased. While we have been able to contain rates increases to a minimum in the last three years, the significant issue that we now face is managing interest debt in part due to the Development Contribution revenue being lower than projected. In keeping with our new community governance framework our five community boards have each prepared a community board plan for the year ahead. These have been key inputs into this Annual Plan and ensure that your local needs and priorities are given a strong voice at the Council governance level. In December 2012 Parliament amended the Local Government Act 2002. There were some substantial changes made to the Act, with a “new” purpose of local government being “to meet the current and future needs of communities for good quality local infrastructure, local public services, and the performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.” We are taking this change in purpose very seriously and are currently undertaking an analysis of all of our activities and services to review our mandate for continuing with these services. In the meantime we will continue delivering on the commitments made in our 2012-2022 Ten Year Plan with a focus on being more cost effective. In addition to the change of purpose for local government, there has been a lot of discussion regarding amalgamations and unitary authorities. In November 2012 we released a statement outlining our position on amalgamations, setting out some non-negotiables that we felt are important for our District. These discussions will continue throughout the 2013/2014 year and will remain one of our top priorities to ensure that local needs are represented. Please visit www.tcdc.govt.nz/amalgamations for more info about our position. At the time of preparing this Annual Plan two of our larger contracts have been out for tender: our solid waste (rubbish) contract and our parks and reserves contract (which also covers maintenance of the cemeteries and public toilets). This means that we’ve made assumptions about some of our contract costs for the 2013/2014 year until such time as the tenders are awarded. A focus for the organisation currently is improving its project management processes. If you live in the District, you are likely to be aware that we had a significant overspend on the construction of a Multi-Sport Park in Whitianga. This has required us to have a good hard look at what went wrong and ensure that we have supports in place to ensure this will not happen again. Improving the way that we initiate and manage projects will remain a priority. Our other priorities for the year ahead include: Continuing with the review of our District Plan. The ‘first cut’ district plan was released in October 2012 for comment and the first ‘statutory version’ will be released in the second half of 2013. This is a huge project for the Council and we look forward to your continued participation in this process. Continuing to monitor the national economy and impacts of the global financial crisis to ensure that our investments in the economic activity represent value for money and a demonstrable return on investment. Promoting the brand of Coromandel as the premier ‘aspirational’ brand for NZ, with a continuing strong commitment to excellence in marketing our district. Continue with our focus of maintaining our essential infrastructure. Ensuring that our new organisation structure and community governance structure is well embedded and growing from strength to strength. Read our 2013/14 Annual Plan Download a copy by clicking on the Annual Plan cover page below, or visit one of our Service Centres to get yourt hands on a hard copy.