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Achievements and challenges of 2019/20 are highlighted in the draft Annual Report

08 October 2020

Our Council has had challenges and successes over the 2019/20 financial year, delivering upgrades to two of our 10 water treatment facilities, maintaining and repairing 695km of roads, and securing a grant of $19.95 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to redevelop Sugarloaf Wharf in Coromandel Harbour to increase marine farming capacity.

(Click on video player above, to watch part 1 of the meeting recording. The other two parts are available at tcdc.govt.nz/meetings)

These achievements, and the challenges of drought and COVID-19, are recorded in the draft Annual Report for the financial year that ended on 30 June. The draft report is being finalised with recommendations from our independent auditor, Audit New Zealand (Audit NZ), so may still be subject to some amendments. The final report will be presented at our 27 October Council meeting.

The Annual Report focuses on how we delivered on projects, services and spending compared to forecasts for the financial year set out in the Annual Plan or Long Term Plan.

“This year we have had mixed results on the delivery of projects,” our Mayor Sandra Goudie says. “Due to the impact of COVID-19 some were not completed and have been deferred or in some cases stopped.”

“The year has had some highlights and challenged the resilience of our staff and our communities,” Mayor Sandra says. “During the past year, we've still maintained core and critical services and supporting initiatives aimed at helping our economy in the COVID-19 climate,” says our Mayor. 

Highlights from the 2019/20 year include:

  • Successful funding of $20m from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund towards the redevelopment of the Sugarloaf Wharf in Coromandel Harbour tcdc.govt.nz/tearikitahi. The facility will be jointly owned as a company made up of our Council, the Coromandel Marine Farmers, and the Crown. This will increase mussel farming capacity by almost 20,000 tonnes and bring additional jobs to the region. Sugarloaf Wharf already handles 90 per cent of the North Island's mussel production.
  • The continuation of the water treatment plant upgrades saw the completion of the Tairua water treatment plant and work has started at Pauanui which is scheduled to be completed December 2020. These upgrades will ensure our drinking water quality complies with the current NZ Drinking Water standards.
  • Whangapoua Boat ramp upgrade has seen a rebuild of the two-lane concrete boat ramp. Installation of a floating pontoon is scheduled for 2022/2023. The improvements will make the ramp safer and more user friendly.
  • Successful applications to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF) enabled us to make upgrades to toilets in Onemana, Whangapoua and Hahei. It also contributed to the Responsible Camping Ambassadors initiative which provided education to campers at the district’s popular freedom camping sites over the 2019/2020 peak summer period.
  • Coromandel Town Main Street upgrade, to improve traffic flow and the street camber to make parking easier and safer, while protecting buildings verandas has been completed. The stormwater infrastructure along the main street was also upgraded.
  • Our Community Boards allocated $164,419.82 in local grants. The fund is to support not-for-profit community organisations to continue their work in supporting and providing positive impact to their communities.

The draft Annual Report reviewed by the Audit and Risk Committee is in the agenda to yesterday’s committee meeting and can be found on our website. A recording of the meeting (in three parts) is on our website at tcdc.govt.nz/meetings.

Also at yesterday’s Audit and Risk Committee meeting:

The Committee reviewed Audit New Zealand’s report to Council on the interim audit for the 2019/20 financial year, which ended on 30 June 2020.  The report notes that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we lost revenue due to facilities such as Thames Centennial Pool, our three District Libraries and other facilities temporarily closing. 

The Long Term Plan (LTP) for 2021-2031 is in development and is on track to be completed by 30 June 2021. The LTP sets out our Council’s financial priorities for a period of 10 years and is updated every three years.

And our Council met this week:

(Click on the video player above, to watch the meeting recording.)

At the full Council meeting on Tuesday, Council adopted a “stalled rebuild scenario”, which will apply to financial assumptions we make in our upcoming 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

Economic agency BERL was tasked to provide cost adjuster scenarios, which could be applied to all councils based on circumstances arising from the economic fallout due to COVID-19, to help with cost forecasting assumptions. Our district’s reliance on tourism, along with a predominantly ageing population puts us into the most vulnerable category – “stalled rebuild scenario”, which Council agreed.

What this means is that any new services over the next 10 years will need to be adjusted downwards, or rates income upwards, in order to meet a balanced budget. It also means we will be heavily restrained in every aspect of our operations in where money is spent.

You can read the BERL report here
And the Council report on this here

Have your say on our proposed Rates Remission and Rates Postponement Policies

Our Rates Remission Policy, Rates Postponement Policy, and our Policy on Remission and Postponement of Rates on Māori Freehold Land are also being reviewed to align with current practice and to ensure consistent language and clarity.

The three policies provide a mechanism for eligible ratepayers to apply for a rates remission or postponement if certain conditions are met.

Consultation will open on Friday 9 October and run until 1 November. Go to tcdc.govt.nz/haveyoursay for more information and to make an online submission.