Looking ahead to Long-Term Plan

Looking ahead to the Long-Term Plan 2021– 2031

Next year we’ll be preparing our next Long-Term Plan, which will set out our priorities and work programme for the period through to 2031.

We’ll be consulting extensively on the Long-Term Plan in a year’s time, but there are some important issues that we will be working on in the meantime, and we’d welcome your views and feedback.

Climate Change

Selwyn District Council participates in both the Canterbury Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) and the Mayoral Forum Climate Change Steering Group. The CCWG has recently commissioned an independent report to assess climate change risk across Canterbury. The purpose of the assessment is to develop a shared understanding of the key climate change risks and opportunities in the Canterbury region, with a focus on local government responsibilities and existing and planned risk management strategies.

  • The Canterbury Climate Change Risk Assessment will be undertaken in three stages:
  • Stage one (first-pass risk screening)
    • identifies long list of priority risks for detailed assessment. Captures existing and planned management actions.
  • Stage two (detailed risk assessment)
    • identifies further information on key risks, including spatial extent. Assesses existing and planned management actions
  • Stage three (adaptation and urgency assessment) – identifies a shortlist of priority risks based on existing management actions and urgency.

The CCWG is scheduled to meet in May 2020 to update the Chief Executive Forum and Te Rōpu Tuia on the Communications Plan and draft publicity materials, and progress on the next steps of the Regional Climate Change Risk Assessment, and then again in late May to present findings of the risk screening to the Mayoral Forum.

The Council is undertaking a review of its own operations to establish its baseline carbon footprint, and to develop a sustainability policy. Along with appropriate strategies and action plans this will guide the Council to ensure all facets of our activities operate in a sustainable manner, while aligning with regional, national and international goals.

Community well-being

Since our last Long-Term Plan (2018-2028), the Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Act has resulted in a change in the purpose of local government, prompting councils to more actively focus more on promoting community well-being – that is, improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of our communities.

Much of what we do as a council already contributes to these outcomes. But over the coming year we’ll be talking more with our communities about things like what well-being means to you, how we measure well-being and what our priorities should be in ensuring our work programme, services and facilities help to improve well-being for Selwyn people.

Social – involves individuals, their families, whānau, hapū, iwi, and a range of communities being able to set goals and achieve them, such as education, health, the strength of community networks, financial and personal security, equity of opportunity, and rights and freedoms.

Environmental – considers whether the natural environment can sustainably support the activities that constitute healthy community life, such as air quality, fresh water, uncontaminated land, and control of pollution.

Economic – looks at whether the economy can generate the employment and wealth necessary to provide many of the requirements that make for social well-being, such as health, financial security, and equity of opportunity.

Cultural – looks at the shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours and identities, reflected through language, visual and performing arts, ceremonies and heritage that make up our communities.

Three Waters Review

The Three Waters Review is a cross- government initiative led by the Minister of Local Government. It is reviewing how to improve the regulation and supply of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater (three waters) to better support New Zealand’s prosperity, health, safety and environment. Most three waters assets and services are owned and delivered by local councils.

We expect the outcomes of this review will impact on the way that councils deliver water services. Earlier this year the Government confirmed its commitment to partnering with local government to consider options for moving to new service delivery arrangements, allowing for safer, more reliable three waters services across the country.

The government recently released a cabinet paper on Three Waters Service delivery. The key recommendations of that paper were:

  • A preference for regional or multi regional delivery models (preferring the latter);
  • Central government to support voluntary reform; and
  • A one year deadline for local government to demonstrate voluntary reform.

Along with other councils, Selwyn is already taking steps to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of our water service delivery. We are also working with other councils in the region to determine what collaboration opportunities would best suit the region’s needs.

Water Regulator

In December 2019, the Taumata Arowai – Water Services Regulator Bill was introduced to Parliament. The Bill implements decisions to establish a new regulatory body, Taumata Arowai, which will be responsible for administering and enforcing a new drinking water regulatory system (including the management of risks to sources of drinking water).

A Taumata Arowai Establishment Unit has been put in place to oversee the establishment of the new body.

The next key legislation will be the Water Services Bill which will set the standards that potable water supplies will have to meet. It is expected this will be in place before the General Election.

Canterbury Museum

The Canterbury Museum has an amazing collection and provides rich information and resources for locals, visitors and researchers on the natural and cultural heritage of Canterbury and New Zealand. It is funded under legislation by four local councils including Selwyn and we currently set a targeted rate of $31 per rating unit for our share of the costs.

The Museum is planning a major upgrade to its buildings in the coming years to improve the visitor experience and to make better provision for the preservation of its extensive collection. The upgrade will be funded by a number of organisations, and will include a contribution from Selwyn ratepayers.

The amount of the contribution is still being determined but it is likely that the targeted rate will increase in the future to pay for a portion of the capital project and future operating costs.

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