Maintaining core services, improving infrastructure and helping the District get Back On Our Feet after Covid-19 is all in a year’s work for NPDC.
According to its independently audited draft Annual Report, sound financial management enabled NPDC to not only weather the Covid-19 financial storm but also to pull together its $20 million Back On Our Feet recovery package, while maintaining investment in core infrastructure and continuing to Build a Lifestyle Capital.
NPDC managed assets valued at $3.3 billion on an operating budget of $154m, and while temporary changes were made to services like rubbish collections during Covid-19, all core services continued running right through lockdown and beyond in tandem with keeping staff and our residents safe.
“Covid-19 changed all the rules and made us re-examine the things we care about. We chose to back our people and our local businesses, putting together a $20 million recovery stimulus package after obtaining feedback from around 1,000 people during lockdown,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.
“It was a big year in Building a Lifestyle Capital even before lockdown, with the completion of a world-class gateway terminal at New Plymouth Airport, the first sales to leaseholders under the Waitara Lands Act, and the local elections, with a move to the single transferrable voting system and a nationally recognised head-turning voting campaign.”
Revenues ended up slightly above budget with rates accounting for 57 per cent of NPDC’s funding, resulting in a general rates operating surplus of about $2.7m which is being ploughed back into our Covid-19 reserve.
An overall accounting deficit of about $21m reflected the success of the Waitara Lands Act which allowed leaseholders to buy their land for the first time. All the proceeds of those sales, about $22m over the 2019-2020 year, are reinvested back into Waitara through the Waitara River catchment fund, the Waitara Perpetual Community Fund and the hapū land fund.
Covid-19 also affected the Perpetual Investment Fund, which ended the financial year slightly down at $292m, but the nest egg still subsidised rates to the tune of almost $9m.
International credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s reconfirmed NPDC’s financial rating of AA/A-1+, the highest possible ranking for local government in New Zealand.
Other highlights over the past year:
NPDC provides core services such as roads, water and waste, looks after 1,600 hectares of parks and open spaces and it runs Puke Ariki, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, Brooklands Zoo and a varied portfolio including commercial property and a crematorium.
Page last updated: 04:22PM Wed 04 August 2021