Annual Report Shows Strong Result
Monday, October 16, 2017
Another strong performance from the Long Term Investment Fund (LTIF) and accounting adjustments saw the South Taranaki District Council’s books show a surplus of $11.98 million when it adopted its 2016/2017 Annual Report at today’s (16 October) Special Council Meeting.
Council Chief Executive Craig Stevenson says it’s important to understand that this is largely a ‘paper surplus’. The two biggest contributors to the larger-than-expected surplus was an accounting adjustment which provided a $4.283 million gain on derivative contract valuations (swaps), paired with the Council’s LTIF returning $11.92 million which was $2.8 million more than budgeted.
At year end, the LTIF balance totalled $137.43 million (including $12.36 million of internal borrowings), up from $131.65 million in 2015/16.
Mr Stevenson says the Council currently draws down $5.6 million each year from the LTIF which provides $3.87 million to subsidise general rates and a further $1.73 million to service loans for specific community projects. “In this way the Council has returned around $96 million back to its communities since it was started in 1997,”
“All revenue over and above the annual drawdown of $5.6 million is returned to the LTIF to create a buffer for those years when it doesn’t perform so well,” he says.
Council’s sound and constantly improving financial position also saw Standard and Poor’s (S&P) upgrade Council’s long term credit rating from A+ to AA- and short term rating from A-1 to A-1+ with Stable outlook. “This is a pleasing result for Council because it means we can borrow at even lower margins which is good news for our ratepayers” he says.
Highlights during the year included:
The first project of the Hawera Town Centre Strategy, Campbell Lane, was completed and the second project, ‘Butchers Lane’, was started. Both of these laneway projects will provide improved connectivity between the free public carparks and the CBD shopping precinct. The Council also purchased the property where the new Centre for Heritage, Arts, Library, Culture and Information (CHALCI) will be built.
Work was completed on Stage 1 of the Denby Road to Waihi Beach Walkway and just over 1 km of new footpath was built in Manaia. These projects are part of the Council’s Pathways Programme, the aim of which is to develop a network of walkways and cycleways to be enjoyed by families and recreational users across the District.
The first stage in the development of the new regional landfill just south of Eltham was started with major road improvements on SH3 at the intersection with Rotokare Road. Once completed this work will improve visibility and provide safe intersection access for road users.
Seismic strengthening work on the Hawera Community Centre Hall was completed which means the whole complex has now been brought up to 67% of the New Building Standard.
The Taumata Recreation Centre in Eltham’s Taumata Park was completed and opened in May 2017. This project was co-funded by the Council, TSB Community Trust, Lion Foundation and NZCT, with contributions from the two main user groups the Eltham Football Club and Eltham Athletics Club.
The Council has also made significant progress developing our new District Plan. The District Plan is one of our key documents which controls the way land is used, developed, protected and subdivided in South Taranaki. We received nine appeals to the Plan and expect to have these resolved early next year.
A wet autumn/winter caused widespread slips on roads across the District, particularly in the Waitotara Valley, Tangahoe Valley, Rawhitiroa, Aorere, Morea Valley, Glen Nui and Wingrove Roads. All roads were cleared and reopened at a cost of around $200,000.
The full 2016 – 2017 Annual Report can be viewed on the Council website www.southtaranaki.com
Other notable achievements during the year included:
- $2.55 million worth of road pavement rehabilitation work was completed.
- 38% of the District’s street lights have now been converted to new LED lights. The energy savings to date equate to approximately $26,000.
- A new clarifier was installed at the Inaha Water Treatment Plant as part of a $1 million upgrade to meet the Drinking Water Standards.
- Stage 1 of the $529,000 Nolantown water mains replacement was completed.
- The $335,000 Eltham Water Treatment Plant refurbishment was completed in December 2016.
- The $847,000 Manaia Road to Palmer Road water mains replacement was completed. This pipe links the Kapuni Scheme to Waimate West along Skeet Road.
- Work was completed to provide additional parking for self-contained campers and wastewater system improvements at Lake Rotokare Scenic Reserve.
- Opunake’s Middleton Bay steps project was completed with new concrete steps, a hand rail, a retaining wall, a chip sealed access track and stormwater improvements.
- 3D printers have been installed in each of the District’s seven LibraryPlus centres.
- The Hawera Aquatic Centre had 94,331 visitors, the third busiest year since its upgrade was completed in July 2009.
- 38 individuals and businesses were nominated for the 2016 Youth to Work Awards. The Awards (a Mayors’ Task Force for Jobs project), celebrate young people who are achieving in their workplace or training environment, as well as the businesses, education and training providers who support them.