VIDEO: Council March Meeting Summary

The monthly Waimakariri District Council meeting for March was held recently and a number of significant issues were discussed.

March Council MeetingThe beginning of the meeting was attended by a large gathering of residents concerned about a quarry proposed for the West Eyreton area.

The council confirmed that they had not yet received any application for resource consent for the quarry.

A motion from the Oxford-Ohoka Community Board asked the Council that any such application in the future be publicly notified and the Council acknowledged receipt of this motion, however until a resource consent application is received, no further action can be undertaken.

The Draft Annual Plan for 2017/2018 was approved by the Council to go to public consultation. This plan once finalised, will govern a lot of the Council's direction over the next financial year.

A main point of interest is likely to be around the average 3.8% rise in rates across the district.  A change of 3.7% had previously been signalled and so it was felt that this was a reasonable result.

Rates changes will differ from area to area, largely due to factors such as ongoing water supply upgrades and recently released valuations.

The other major issue in the plan, will be around the subject of trading on Easter Sunday.  Government has changed legislation which means each council has an option of developing a local policy that enables the option of trading on Easter Sunday.  The council will be running a major campaign over the coming month seeking feedback from the community before deciding whether a policy is required in the Waimakariri.

Consultation around the Draft Annual Plan will begin on 10 March and run until 11 April, with public hearings in Kaiapoi on 3 May and Rangiora on 4 May.

Council also proposed to form a working party to investigate alternatives to targeted rates for water services.  This is known as 3 Waters Ratings and covers drinking water, waste water and storm-water.  Currently each area in the district pays rates specifically targeted to the costs of providing that area's water services.

One recommendation the working group may propose is that the costs of all water services in the district be evenly distributed across all rates.

Lastly the Council approved the naming of a new cycleway / walkway.  With substantial funding from central government, construction is about to begin on two new cycleways / walkways.  One will run between Rangiora and Woodend, and the other between Rangiora and Kaiapoi.  The latter is to be named The Passchendaele Memorial Cycleway / Walkway.  This recognises our council's relationship with Zonnebeke Council in Belgium, and also commemorates the district's involvement in the Battle of Passchendaele.

The next Council Meeting will be on Tuesday 4 April.