Annual Plan sets out strong work programme for Upper Hutt
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 Upper Hutt, 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.
Recent 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 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 Upper Hutt City Council.
GWRC also plans to purchase land at Kaitoke to enhance the region’s water storage and resilience to drought.
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 that 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 Upper Hutt and beyond. We will also be completing the business case for integrated ticketing and fares to ensure people can travel from places like Upper Hutt across all modes of public transport without paying for transfers.
Regional parks in and around Upper Hutt will also benefit this year, with GWRC continuing to promote the use of Kaitoke Regional Park through initiatives including the Great Outdoor Summer Events programme. Planting and pest control will also continue.
We have also extended the EECA Warm Greater Wellington initiative to allow more homes within the region – including Upper Hutt – 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 rates increase for Upper Hutt City down to about 7.79%, or $29 a year. This equates to about 56 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 2014/15 visit www.gw.govt.nz/ annual-plan-2014-15