Our Infrastructure Strategy

Our 30 year Infrastructure Strategy outlines how we intend to address the key issues relating to our roads, water, sewer, stormwater and greenspace assets, as well as community facilities and other Council properties.

Future District Growth

The District’s population is expected to grow from its current population of 59,000 to about 97,000 by 2048.


Residential growth is expected to occur mainly in Rangiora, Woodend/Pegasus, and to the north and west of Kaiapoi. Commercial development is expected in Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Pegasus along with new commercial areas developed in north Woodend and Kaiapoi next to State Highway 1.

In the past 10 to 15 years major infrastructure investment decisions have supported where growth is planned to occur, including:

  • construction of the Eastern Districts Sewerage Scheme
  • major upgrades of water supplies, especially the Rangiora supply
  • supporting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s construction of the recently completed Western Belfast By-pass motorway and Northern Arterial which is due for completion in 2020

As a result, the ‘backbone’ of our major infrastructure is in place, and therefore future work focuses on ‘plugging-in’ new growth areas to the existing systems.

New legislative standards and higher community expectations

Increased expectations about the standard to which services are provided has accelerated. National Standards and National Policy Statements require both national drinking water standards to be met, as well as higher standards for stormwater and sewage treatment and disposal.

As we’ve outlined in the Water Management section of this document, the impacts on the Council are significant – the Infrastructure Strategy explores these issues in depth.

Natural Hazards and Climate Change

While the District is susceptible to flooding and tsunami in lower lying areas, the major threat is from an alpine fault rupture or a local earthquake, especially in liquefaction-prone areas along the Canterbury coastline.

There is a 30% probability of a magnitude 8.0 Alpine Fault rupture occurring within the next 50 years.

As shown in Balancing the Budget section of this document the Council has provided $84 million of ‘headroom’ in its borrowing policy so it can respond to a major natural disaster. While the Council is fully insured with 40% of underground assets covered by the Local Authority Protection Programme (LAPP) and 60% by Central Government. If insurance cover is lost the ‘headroom’ will enable the Council to restore the vast majority of its infrastructure
assets and all its highest priority community facilities.

The Council is factoring the effects of climate change into infrastructure sizing, particularly new stormwater pipes to take account of intense rainfall events. The Council is also undertaking flood and ground water modelling incorporating potential sea-level and groundwater level rises of about 1 metre.

Sustainable Environmental Practices

The Council proposes developing a sustainability strategy and policy in 2018/19 and establishing base-line information to assess and improve performance.

Renewing Council Assets 

The age of Council assets is relatively young, with the peak of asset renewals occurring between 2070 and 2120. The Council has modelled its renewal programme for the next 150 years with renewal and funding strategies
developed simultaneously to ensure planned asset renewal and its funding is provided for.

Capital Expenditure

The Council expects to spend about $142 million* in the first 2 years of its Long Term Plan, including the proposed multi-use sports facility. Later years have a relatively consistent level of capital expenditure of between $25 million and $35 million per year.