Annual Plan sets out strong work programme for Hutt City
Greater Wellington Regional Council has adopted its Annual Plan 2014/15, which sets out its work programme and spending for the region over the current financial year.
For Hutt City, the Annual Plan has budgeted for a number of projects and initiatives designed to boost resilience, improve public transport, protect and preserve our natural parks, and improve neighbourhoods and communities.
Last year’s earthquakes and storms have proven the effectiveness of the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) in responding to natural disasters. WREMO will continue to work with communities to boost their preparedness for possible future events through a range of initiatives, including the Household Emergency Rainwater Tank project, which sees subsidised water tanks being sold through local councils, including Hutt City Council.
Protecting Hutt City from the effects of potential flooding is a priority for GWRC, and this year we will be moving forward with the planned Hutt City Centre Upgrade project to boost the resilience of Hutt CBD. Planning will occur for the upgrade of the city centre stopbanks, and for channel widening of the Hutt River from Melling Bridge to Kennedy Good Bridge.
We are also carrying out a feasibility study on installing a new pipeline from Petone to Wellington Harbour to provide an alternative water supply channel through the region in the event of a natural disaster.
In the public transport space, GWRC is working to encourage more people to ditch their cars and take buses, trains and ferries to reduce congestion and emissions on our road networks. In order to do this, we have to ensure we have a reliable, useable and affordable public transport network.
This year, we will be continuing with the Hutt Valley review of public transport services to ensure that our network and infrastructure are meeting the needs of Hutt City and beyond. We will also be completing the business case for integrated ticketing and fares to ensure people can travel from places like Hutt City across all modes of public transport without paying for transfers and swapping modes of transport.
Regional parks in and around Hutt City will also benefit this year, with GWRC continuing to develop visitor services at Baring Head in East Harbour Regional Park. We will also work with our farming leaseholders, NZTA, and other stakeholders to introduce mitigation and compensation measures to reduce the lasting impacts of the Transmission Gully motorway on Belmont Regional Park.
The EECA Warm Greater Wellington initiative has been extended to allow more homes within the region – including Hutt City – to put the cost of insulation and heat pumps on their rates bill, ensuring warmer, drier and healthier homes are affordable for all residents in the region.
With all this work, GWRC has managed to keep the average rates increase for Hutt City down to about 7.73%, or $33 a year. This equates to about 63 cents a week for the average household, depending on the size and value of the home. This is down from the 10.4% forecast across the region in the Long Term Plan.
For more information on rates increases and the Annual Plan visit www.gw.govt.nz/annual-plan-2014-15.