skip to main content

Regional Council alters Three-Year Plan following community submissions

LTP delibs round table resized

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has cut its average proposed rate increases from 19.6 percent to 16 percent in 2024-25 response to community concerns about rates affordability. 

 The Regional Council consulted widely on its draft Three-Year Plan (2024-2027). It held 12 drop-in sessions, received 822 submissions, pages of social media feedback and heard 60 individuals or groups over two days of public hearings. Over two days, the Regional Council deliberated on this feedback, as well as staff analysis and options to address issues raised by the community during consultation.

 Regional Council Chair Hinewai Ormsby says councillors had heard the community and looked hard at options to reduce the impact of the proposed rates rises.

 The Regional Council will cut its proposed average rates increase from 19.6 percent to 16 percent in Year 1. In Year 2, rates will rise from 18.1 percent to 18.3 percent, and in Year 3, rates will drop from 9 percent to 8.5 percent. Over the three years, the Regional Council will collect over $5 million less in rates.

 “We have dropped the rates increases through further internal savings, including keeping 20 permanent roles vacant, subject to the outcome of efficiency reviews.

 “We have an ambitious flood resilience programme ahead of us, and supporting our communities to move from Category 2 to Category 1. We will continue to invest in the region’s recovery and bring down the cost to ratepayers.”

 “We will seek a special dividend from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) of $2.85 million to maintain funding for Hawke’s Bay Tourism in Year 1, support retaining biodiversity and biosecurity efforts, and offset rates remissions. The remissions would otherwise have fallen onto the General Rate and increased rates for everybody.”

 “We understood that the proposed rates increase creates a significant affordability issue for some ratepayers. So we have pulled all the levers available to us to make the changes we heard communities wanted, as best we could. We will refine our remissions policies to help the most severely affected ratepayers.”

 “We are looking to provide remissions to those most-affected by changes to Public Transport rates and those suffering hardship.”

 We have also directed the Chief Executive to undertake an efficiency review of Council’s business, ahead of the next Annual Plan, ready for Year 2 (2025-26).”


Investing in flood resilience


A key consultation topic was how to rate for the new flood mitigation schemes in Wairoa (operating and maintenance only), Heretaunga Plains extension (Omāhu, Pākōwhai, Waiohiki), Whirinaki industrial and Pōrangahau.

 Councillors agreed to fund the capital costs of post-cyclone schemes in Whirinaki and Pōrangahau from the general rate given the unexpected costs to small communities.  Wairoa flood mitigation costs are 100 percent Crown funded and the mitigations in Waiohiki, Pākōwhai  and Ohiti-Omahu are part of the much larger Heretaunga Flood Scheme.


Tough choices


The Regional Council heard from submitters about the proposal to stop some council services and temporarily slow a number of activities to fund recovery over the next three years.

 Many submitters spoke about the proposal to phase out funding for Hawke’s Bay Tourism.

 Given the significance of tourism to the regional economy and to give Hawke’s Bay Tourism time to secure other funding, the Regional Council agreed to maintain funding at $1.5 million in Year 1, with no funding commitment from Year 2. The Regional Council will keep the door ajar to produce a sustainable plan for the business in Year 2, alongside the committed support from industry and other councils. The Regional Council will get a special one-off regional economic development dividend from HBRIC that means the cost does not fall on ratepayers in this year’s rates.

 Councillors heard from submitters about the proposal to stop grant funding of Te Mata Park. The Council agreed to maintain its $120,000 annual contribution for the upkeep of the much loved and used park. It will make a 20 percent cut to the maintenance of its regional parks (Pākōwhai, Pekapeka, Tūtira and Waitangi) over the next three years, with the expectation that it will be reviewed after three years.

 Councillors called for special reviews of the Revenue and Finance Policy around the targeted rates schemes for Upper Tukituki and Public Transport.

 Councillors also agreed to council staff recommendations including stopping the Sustainable Homes programme, and will promote alternative programmes that already provide this support for the community (please see notes to editor).

 The Council will reduce funding available through the Erosion Control Scheme, and this is seen as timely given farmers are still in recovery and focused on rebuilding farm infrastructure.

 On the table, was a proposal to continue a slow-down of  biosecurity and biodiversity, and Councillors agreed to invest $400,000 over the three years and in response to community views that this environmental work is critical.


Boost in funding to Civil Defence


Councillors agreed to bolster funding of $1.3million for Civil Defence over three years, as together with all councils in the region, the Regional Councils works on implementation of the review of the Civil Defence Emergency Management response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

 Regional Council Chair Hinewai Ormsby says she is thankful to those who had their say, sent in a submission or came to the hearings.

 “We thoroughly considered all feedback, and we are grateful to the people who devoted time to sharing their views who helped make our decisions more robust. We have pulled the levers available to us while balancing the known and unknown climate resilience challenges we have ahead of us.”




Notes to editor:


Clean heat programmes :


  • Westpac (0 percent per annum, max amount of $50,000, duration – up to five years)
  • ANZ (1 percent, max amount of $80,000, duration – up to three years)
  • BNZ (1 percent, max amount of $80,0000, duration – up to three years)
  • ASB (1 percent, max amount of $80,000, duration up to three years)
  • Kiwibank (variable home loan rate – duration – 7-10 years, Kiwibank contributes up to $2,000 over four years for loans over $5,000)
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes: Grants for lower income homeowners or homeowners in low advantage neighbourhoods for insulation and heat pumps. Homeowners pay up to $700-$800.
  • Te Whatu Ora – Child Healthy Housing Programme aims to prevent illness and hospitalisation by supporting children to sustainably live in warm, dry, affordable homes. Target of 525 whanau referred per year
  • Energymate initiative with energy advisors who offer assistance for households in energy hardship
  • Healthy Homes Rental Standards to ensure all rental properties have heat pumps, insulation, draught stoppers and ventilation. This is the responsibility of the home owner to install.
  • It is noted that the terms of the loans offered by banks are less than the ten years offered by Clean Heat/Sustainable Homes but the interest rates are much less and the grant is offered by one is more than our $700 grant.


21 June 2024

Back to News & Media

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hawke's Bay Regional Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hawke's Bay Regional Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hawke's Bay Regional Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Hawke's Bay Regional Council - / +64 6 835 9200 /