Have a say on our Long-Term Plan 2021-2031

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Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 30 April 2021.


It's time to help us get our work programme and budget right for the next 10 years. The Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 is out for consultation now and it's important you let us know what you think about the proposals. On this site you can find out all the information you need to find out more about the plan.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 30 April 2021.


It's time to help us get our work programme and budget right for the next 10 years. The Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 is out for consultation now and it's important you let us know what you think about the proposals. On this site you can find out all the information you need to find out more about the plan.

  • Our growing district

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    29 Mar 2021
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    Selwyn just keeps growing! We know Selwyn is a great place to live and work, to do business and to raise a family. And it seems more and more people are getting the message and coming to join us.

    Over the past 10 years Selwyn has been the second-fastest growing district in New Zealand, growing from 42,900 in 2011 to around 71,500. While this increase came initially from the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010–2011, in recent years we’ve continued to see steady internal migration, mostly from the greater Christchurch area.

    The district is also becoming more urban, with nearly 90% of growth occurring in townships. Overall the proportion of the population in urban areas has increased from 43% to around 60% in the past 10 years.

    New arrivals to Selwyn are, on average, younger than the current population and are looking for modern, affordable housing, with good amenities and services nearby. High levels of new house construction, along with increasing business and commercial activity, have fuelled demand for new infrastructure, and both the Government and the Council are responding by investing in services and facilities such as schools, parks, recreation facilities, water and wastewater systems, and community and health facilities.

    Selwyn’s economy is also expanding. Although growth had initially slowed due to COVID-19 lockdowns, gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2020 exceeded growth in previous years. Employment has been growing faster than the national average, and together with GDP growth has led to higher productivity and household incomes. Unemployment remains low and new businesses continue to locate in our district.

    Throughout 2020 the Council continued to process high numbers of resource and building consents – despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic – and Selwyn’s population is forecast to reach 89,600 by 2031, with more than 7,000 new households

  • Improving our well-being

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    29 Mar 2021
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    One of the main purposes of local government is to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of our residents and communities.

    Almost everything we do as a Council contributes to these well-beings. In our Long-Term Plan we describe a series of community outcomes or goals, which represent the Council’s vision for the district, and guide the Council as it develops plans and makes decisions.

    Set out below are the four well-being statements that we have developed for Selwyn. We’re also developing a set of indicators, or ways that we can measure progress towards each of the goals.

    It’s important to note that the Council is just one of a number of organisations that contribute to well-being in our community. Government and non-government agencies, along with many other groups, also have a part to play.

    The Council is not directly responsible for all of these indicators, but we do play a role in encouraging, advocating, facilitating and supporting these across Selwyn. Agencies are each responsible for measures relating to their own customers (for example, schools, hospitals, social agencies). If each agency or group performs well, then collectively as a community we can make progress towards these goals.

    These well-beings are aspirational and long-term – we won’t achieve them overnight, but we should be actively working with other agencies to measuring progress towards them.

    Environmental well-being

    Selwyn’s natural landscape and biodiversity are protected. We improve our sustainable and productive land uses to feed New Zealand and the world.

    Indicators include measures such as water quality of monitored lakes, rivers and swimming spots, area of land in protected indigenous vegetation and landfill waste in kg per capita.

    Social well-being

    Selwyn’s residents are successful; we support each other, enjoy spending time together and feel a sense of belonging. We love our families, are well educated and employed.

    Indicators include measures such as employment numbers, educational achievement and housing affordability.

    Cultural well-being

    Selwyn is a connected and inclusive community. Mana whenua and tangata whenua thrive. We recreate and volunteer together. Everyone has a place to call home.

    Indicators include measures such as crime rate, perceptions of quality of life and volunteer participation.

    Economic well-being

    Selwyn is defined by our innovative, quality and sustainable infrastructure and transport solutions. We love our towns and invest in our economy.

    Indicators include measures such as growth of new businesses, travel times and number of visitors to the district.

  • Climate change

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    29 Mar 2021
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    Climate change is one of the most pressing issues faced by central and local governments worldwide. It is internationally accepted that the climate is changing due to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – with changes observed at a global and regional level.

    Climate change may threaten our built infrastructure and way of living, but may also provide opportunities that come through a warmer climate. Adapting to these climate changes requires long-term planning to allow for changes in behaviour and infrastructure locations. As a local authority we recognise that we make decisions that span generations – so we must actively assess and respond to the risks and opportunities that climate change presents.

    Selwyn District Council was one of the earliest signatories to the New Zealand Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration 2017. As a signatory, the Council is committed to developing and implementing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to engage with tangata whenua, and to support resilience within our local communities.

    Along with other agencies, we also work to improve the resource efficiency and health of homes, businesses and infrastructure in our district, and help communities to understand and prepare for the physical impacts of climate change.

    What’s the Council doing about climate change?

    Assessing our risk

    We are collaborating with our regional partners in the Canterbury Climate Change Working Group and the Mayoral Forum Climate Change Steering Group. This group has been laying the foundations for a regional climate change risk assessment. A high-level risk screening broadly identifies risks and opportunities arising from climate change, and a companion report provides an overview of adaptation work already being undertaken in the region. This is being followed up with a more in-depth risk assessment this year.

    Priority risks identified in Canterbury included hazards such as sea level rise, flooding, coastal erosion, fire, higher temperatures, drought, and storms. These could potentially affect the natural environment as well as the region’s economy and built environment. A recent report from the Ministry for the Environment highlights climate changes already observed in many people’s lifetime. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research’s projections for Canterbury indicate significant changes in rainfall patterns, increased evapotranspiration and rising sea levels affecting infrastructure close to the coast.

    We’ve carried out an initial assessment of flooding hazard in low lying plains and coastal areas, using computer-based flood modelling to predict the extent and depth of flooding. We also completed an assessment of climate change impacts on water assets in 2017 and 2020, looking at trends in climate change data and the potential impacts on Selwyn’s water infrastructure. At this stage the assessment shows only low to minor impacts in Selwyn during the period of this Long-Term Plan.

    Planning our response

    With our regional partners, we’re planning further work to carry out more detailed risk assessments, and to develop cross-sector plans for adaptation to climate change. We will identify a short list of prioritised risks based on existing management actions and urgency. This will feed into a comprehensive adaptation strategy.

    Within the Council, an expert group has been formed to examine climate change-related opportunities and risks, and to develop an integrated adaptation action plan that will feed into planning processes.

    Putting climate change at the heart of decision-making

    In 2020 we took a further step to put climate change at the heart of our work, adopting our first formal climate change policy. This brings together several areas of work into a consolidated blueprint for action on climate change, and commits the Council to make climate change mitigation and adaptation central to its planning and decision-making.

    Measuring our own carbon footprint

    As part of its leadership role in addressing climate change locally, we have recently undertaken an assessment of our carbon emissions for the 2018/19 year. This assessment, which will be published this year, forms a baseline against which future carbon emissions will be compared. Establishing a baseline is the first crucial step towards meeting our obligations under the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, targeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

    We will continue to monitor our emissions, and will set reduction targets to be incorporated into future long-term and annual plans, and identify opportunities to reduce emissions in our own operations and those of our contractors.

    More information can be found in Canterbury Climate Change Risk Screening Interim Report by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum.

  • Three waters reform

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    29 Mar 2021
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    In July 2020, the Government launched a programme to reform local government’s delivery of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services. These services are currently provided by local authorities and the Government has signalled its intent that these services will in future be provided by new, publicly-owned water service delivery entities.

    At present there is no fully developed three waters reform proposal to present to the community for consideration. However, local authorities, including Selwyn, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government under which they agree to work together in the first stage of the reform. This commits us to engage with the initial reform programme and share information on our three waters assets and operations.

    The Government is taking a voluntary, partnership-based approach to reform, in which local authorities would be asked to decide to participate in the new service delivery system in late 2021; this decision would be in the form of an ‘opt out’ approach. For councils that participate in the reforms, any transfer of responsibilities and assets is likely to occur in from July 2023.

    While the reform creates uncertainty for the Council, we have been advised to prepare our Long-Term Plan 2021–2031 on the assumption that the Council will continue to provide the three waters services. Our voluntary involvement in the first stage of the reform programme will put us in the best possible position to prepare.

  • What you told us

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    29 Mar 2021
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    As part of our early planning for this Long-Term Plan, we carried out informal consultation last year to seek community feedback on what the Council’s priorities and funding strategies should be over the next 10 years.

    We held a community workshop with a cross-section of residents, representing a range of ages, backgrounds and locations. We then identified key themes from this workshop and developed an online survey to explore these issues further.

    Here are some of the key things people told us were important to them:

    • Selwyn retaining its distinct rural character
    • Maintaining a clean, safe and consistent water supply
    • Providing and maintaining safe and quality roads.

    The top five priorities that people thought the Council should invest more funding in included safe intersections, safe drinking water, quality roads, roading connections between towns, and providing facilities and services for teenagers.

    The survey also indicated that a proportion of residents would be happy to pay a little more in rates for some of these priority activities, including providing safe drinking water, making roads and intersections safer, and providing facilities for teenagers.

    This feedback has been useful in helping us set our priorities for the coming years – and the proposed projects and work programme in this Long-Term Plan show the Council is responding to many of the issues highlighted by the informal consultation.

    For a summary of the early consultation findings, see the Which Way? Pre-consultation engagement findings report.