Long-Term Plan 2021-31

Long Term Plan Banner

Submissions on the Long Term Plan have now closed

This year we’re calling our plan ‘Stepping Up’. That’s because we believe it is time for us all to step up and invest in the future for our mokopuna. Our plan is about boldly moving Masterton/Whakaoriori forward and creating a place that our children, and their children, can be proud of for many years to come.

The developments we have planned for Masterton will change our town in a way that hasn’t been seen since the 1950s. These are long-term decisions – and opportunities – that will shape our community and have long-term consequences for our future generations.

We will be asking you about:

    • The civic facility
    • Masterton revamp project
    • Housing for seniors

Tell us what you think by completing the survey online or by completing a hardcopy survey at the Council office or Masterton Library.

Plus, have your say and go in the draw to win:

  • One of two travel vouchers worth $500
  • A $1000 for a local school
    • Note: For every submission we receive, you’ll have the chance to select the school you’d like to see get the $1000. We’ll donate $1000 each to the intermediate/high school, and the primary school that gets the most votes relative to their school roll, so small schools aren’t disadvantaged.

Terms and Conditions

There are two school prizes – one for the primary school with the most nominations and one for the intermediate/secondary school with the most nominations.

Nominations will be calculated as a percentage of the school roll. School rolls will be based on the student population information provided by Education Counts.

Every submitter gets to vote for one school.  For hard copy submissions, if you have ticked more than one school, your nomination will be void. 

There are two $500 travel vouchers to be won. All individuals who submit are eligible to enter the prize draw by selecting the option to be included in the draw. Masterton District Council staff and their immediate family are not eligible to enter the travel voucher prize draw.  

Masterton District Council Long Term Plan Promotion – April 2021

  1. The promoter is: Masterton District Council whose office is at 161 Queen Street, Masterton.
  2. The competition is open to Masterton District residents and those who own rateable properties within the Masterton District except employees of Masterton District Council and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating their agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are on the Masterton District Council website [www.mstn.govt.nz], a survey completion on the Long-Term Plan (consultation) is considered one entry.
  6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
  7. Closing date for entry will be 4pm Monday 3 May 2021. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  9. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:

To enter the competition the entrant must complete a survey on the Long-Term Plan (consultation). A survey is considered to be one of the following: a completed online survey, a hardcopy survey either hand-delivered or emailed to [email protected] or dictated to customer service team members on 06 370 6300. Contact details must be provided to confirm an eligible entry.

  1. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  2. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  3. The prizes are as follows: 2 x travel vouchers to the value of $500, 2 x grants of $1000 to be given to local schools.
  4. The prize is as stated and no alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.
  5. Winners will be chosen at random by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.
  6. The winner will be notified by email within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted/does not confirm receipt of the prize we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  7. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected/is delivered.
  8. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  9. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by New Zealand law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of New Zealand.
  10. The winner agrees to the use of their name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current New Zealand data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  11. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Masterton District Council and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Statement found at https://mstn.govt.nz/privacy-statement/
  12. Masterton District Council’s decision as to those able to take part and selection of winners is final. No correspondence relating to the competition will be entered into.
  13. Masterton District Council shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.
  14. Masterton District Council also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.

The Big Decisions | Ngā Whakatau Nunui

We want your opinion on three key projects, and our plan to pay for them, so we can confirm our plan for the next 10 year.

Funding for the Civic Facility

This project will bring our civic facility, library and some front-counter customer service functions together in a new location that aligns with the broader plans for the town. We can wait until we have confirmed external funding to ‘push-go’, or we can get on with it now.

Masterton Revamp Project

This project is a chance to implement the Town Centre Strategy we invested 5 years into developing, to create a vibrant heart for our town, and boost the entrances so they’re welcoming and reflect who we are. We can do a more extensive revamp or scale it back.

More Housing for Seniors

This project will increase public housing for senior members of our community, reducing the number of seniors who face homelessness, while making bigger houses available for our wider community to use. We can build the houses, or we can make the land available so someone else can build these houses.

Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu

Adorn this bird with feathers to enable it to fly

Have Your Say | Kōrero Mai

There are lots of different ways you can have your say about our plans:

  • Online: You can submit your thoughts online. Online submissions save processing costs and time.
  • Email: You can email your feedback to [email protected]
  • Phone: You can give us a call and tell us what you think. Our team will be available between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) on 06 370 6300.
  • Writing: You can write your thoughts down if that works better for you. Feedback forms can be picked up at our office, 161 Queen Street, or the Masterton District Library, 54 Queen Street.
  • In-Person: You can catch up with us in person at one of our local ‘pop-ups’ in the community or invite us to one of your meetings to talk about our plans for the future.

We need your submissions by 4pm Monday 3 May 2021.

If you submit feedback on the plan, you can also come and talk to the Council about your thoughts and ideas on Wednesday 19 May 2021 or Thursday 20 May 2021.

We are using a new online submission tool which means the survey will look different than how it has done previously. You will be asked to register an account, this will be your account for all future submissions and means you will be able to save your answers and come back to edit or finish them later. You will be able to view the full consultation document side by side with the survey by using the button ‘Have your Say’ to make your comments. 

Want a hand filling in an online submission?

See our library staff every Wednesday in April between 10am – 12noon. You can bring your own device or use the library computers.

Come and See Us | Te Kanohi ki Kanohi

We are hosting a number of pop-ups and in-person events where you will be able to come and speak to your councillors as well as council staff.

  • Carboot Sale: Sunday 11 April, 8am – 11am, Farrier’s Carpark
  • Lakeview School: Sunday 11 April, 2-4pm.
  • Open House Session: Tuesday 13 April, 6pm – 8pm, 161 Queen Street, Masterton
  • Farmer’s Market: Saturday 17 April, 9am – 11am, Solway Showgrounds
  • Pop-in: Thursday 22 April, 11:30am – 1pm, 161 Queen Street, Masterton

Want a hand filling in an online submission? See our library staff every Wednesday in April between 10am – noon. You can bring your own device or use the library computers.

Fees and Charges

We’re reviewing our fees and charges as part of the development of the Masterton District Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021-31, and we’re seeking your feedback on our proposed changes.

Submissions are welcome from any person or organisation who wishes to give feedback.

Submissions close at 4pm on Monday, 3 May 2021.

Written Submissions

Written submissions can be made using either a hardcopy submission form (PDF, 106KB), sending us an email or writing a letter. Hardcopy submission forms are also available at our Council office, 161 Queen Street, Masterton or from the Masterton District Library.

You can submit them in the following ways:

  • Email: send to [email protected] with ‘Draft Long Term Plan 2021-31: Fees and Charges’ in the subject line
  • Post: ‘Draft Long Term Plan 2021-31: Fees and Charges’, Masterton District Council, Freepost 112477, PO Box 444, Masterton
  • Hand deliver: ‘Draft Long Term Plan 2021-31: Fees and Charges’, Masterton District Council, 161 Queen Street, Masterton

Questions and Answers

Civic Facility

What conversations have we had with our community so far?

Since the combined town hall and district building was closed in 2016, we’ve been talking with our community about what options we have to replace it. Below is a high level timeline of communication and consultation with our community to date:

DATE: KEY MESSAGE/S:
June 2016 We advised: We’re closing the town hall due to its earthquake prone status.
Nov 2017 We asked: Should we build new or strengthen?  65% of those who responded preferred build new.
March 2018 We asked: Should we build new, strengthen, or not replace?  59% of those who responded said build new.
August 2018 We advised: We’re “firming up our options” and calling for potential partners.
Nov 2018 We advised: Project Managers (Xigo) appointed to take project forward.
Aug 2019 We advised: We’ve agreed to formally consult on three options.
May 2020 We advised: We are planning to build a facility, and exploring options for the current buildings.
August 2020 We advised: We’ve confirmed objectives for the facility and are exploring other locations.

What are the objectives for the civic facility?

The objectives that Council confirmed for the civic facility are that it:

  • Meets the needs of the Masterton community.
  • Utilises green building design for efficiency and environmental benefit.
  • Embraces our Māori culture and multi-cultural community.
  • Multi-purpose.
  • Well utilised for future generations.
  • Financially sustainable and affordable for the community to use.
  • Is well located and compliments the surrounding community facilities.

 

Why are we including the library and archive?

In our 2015-25 Long Term Plan we noted that the library was smaller than recommended for our population. In the 2018-28 Long Term Plan we consulted on a project to expand the library at its current site. Our current Archive is also too small, and the building where it is located does not belong to Council – we rent that space. The new civic facility presents an opportunity to bring the projects together, which will increase day-to-day utilisation of the civic facility, address library needs, enable cost savings overall, and allow us to address the current shortage of space in our archive and save money that we currently spend on rent.

 

Where is the new Civic facility going to be built?

We are looking at site options that align with our Town Centre Strategy. We can’t disclose the exact location yet due to commercial sensitivity, however in 2020 Council agreed that locations north of the current Town Hall site should be looked at. A location further north allows us to celebrate the connection to the Waipoua river, a stronger link to our nationally recognised Queen Elizabeth Park, and most importantly, deliver a facility of the size and scale that meets the future needs of our tamariki and mokopuna – something the current Town Hall site doesn’t allow.

 

Why not build on the current Town Hall site?

The time and effort we’ve put into the civic facility project so far has shown us that we can’t just replace the old town hall with a newer version.  We need to think broader and longer term. The site of the current Town Hall might have been the best location in 1915, but it’s not anymore because it’s not well connected to our Town Centre and getting people safely across State Highway 2 (SH2) is a challenge, the site is limited in size which means that we aren’t able to build what we need for our future generations, and it doesn’t utilise some of the great things that make Masterton special like Queen Elizabeth Park and the Waipoua river.

 

How is the budget made up?

The total estimated cost is $30.3 million with a variance of approximately 30% due to the costs being such an early estimate. In our 2018-28 Long Term Plan Consultation Document we indicated a cost of $15.5 million for the civic facility and $8.1 million for the library upgrade, assuming we would also secure some external funding. Considering inflation, the current estimate is approximately $5 million more than we indicated then.

 

What is the basis for the estimates and will it be enough?

Based on what we know today, including things like the national library standards and what that means for a new library in Masterton we’ve had some help pulling together our figures. The budget figures are called “pre-concept estimates” which means just that, and until we have a concept design worked out they’re the best numbers we can work with. We talk about the capital budget having a variance of + or – 30% and that’s just to give us some wiggle room as we work through the design stages and have a better understanding of all of the things we might need.

We have allowed for additional operating costs associated with the new facility, on top of most of the existing costs of the current library, archive and Queen St office. We have allowed for some cost savings arising from combining into one facility, such as reduced external rental being paid on two of the premises.

 

Will Council partner with other funders on this?

We will pursue potential funding opportunities and partnership arrangements, just like we have for the skatepark and Hood Aerodrome developments, where we have been successful in our applications for central government funding support. There will also be philanthropic activities to help raise funds where the community and others will have the opportunity to contribute if they wish.

 

Why don’t we scale back the build?

We are making this investment for our mokopuna and future generations. We want to make sure it is something they will be proud of and that will meet their evolving needs over time   If we build something smaller, or with less functionality, it will not meet the needs of current or future generations.

Building a multi-purpose facility that includes the library and archive now resolves three issues and is more cost effective than working to solve each of these separately.

 

Why don’t we defer it?

The Council committed to building the civic centre in May 2020. The longer we defer this project, the greater the likelihood of the cost escalating.

 

How well used will the civic facility be?

Incorporating the library, archive and some of our customer services team will increase the day-to-day use of the new civic facility.  Our library averages over 500 visitors per day.

 

Who will be able to use the new civic facility?

We want the new civic facility to be a space that everyone in our community can use and enjoy for a range of purposes – from accessing our library or Customer Service team, to attending a live performance or community meeting. One of the key objectives for the project is for it to be affordable for our community to use – and that’s a priority for us.

What do you mean by ‘flexible theatre space’?

This will be a venue that has a flat floor that can be used for multiple purposes, including theatre and other functions and events.  The technical term for what we are planning is a ‘black box theatre’.  A black box theatre is commonly described as a simple performance space that is usually a square or rectangle room with black walls, flexible seating and a flat floor. The simplicity of the space is used to create a flexible stage and audience interaction. It also enables the space to be used for other purposes when not being used as a theatre.

 

What will happen to the old town hall?

We’ll decide what to do with the old Town Hall and municipal buildings in the future, once we’ve done some detailed planning around Masterton’s layout and identified land or buildings needed to support our future. We’re planning for the next 50 years, and we want to get it right.

The Town Hall and Municipal buildings were identified as earthquake-prone in 2016. You can see a copy of the structural report here. The earthquake-prone status has to be addressed by 26 February 2026, so we still have some time.

 

What will happen to the existing library building?

No decision has yet been made about that. Like the town hall site, we need to do some more planning about what buildings we need to support our future and how they can best be used.

 

What will happen to the existing archive building?

The Council does not own that building, but we would save the current cost of rent.

 

What will happen to the Queen Street site?

The Council does not own that building. If the staff who are located in that building now vacate the building (by either moving into the new facility or another Council owned site), we would save the cost of rent which is currently $170,000 per annum.

 

Will we save money on operating costs?

We expect there will be operating efficiencies by bringing together our Library, Archive and some front of house customer service staff in the one building.  Currently, we pay rent for both our Queen Street customer services site and our Archive.  We also pay for things like power and heating at each site.

 

What happens if we do nothing?

We will still need to deal with the issues that we are working to resolve through this project, including the library being too small for a community our size, needing to find another larger space to store our archives and not having a civic space where we can hold community events and gatherings. We would need to go ‘back to the drawing board’ regarding these issues.

 

Masterton Revamp

What is the Masterton Revamp project about?

We want to bring residents and those that are visiting, into our town centre, and to create spaces that facilitate community connection. We plan to deliver improvements to our town centre and entrances into Masterton over a 10-year period and there are four over-arching things we want to focus on delivering:

  • Increase connection with the Waipoua River – Masterton is the only Wairarapa town set on a river. Let’s make the most of it!
  • Joining things up – we need to create linkages throughout the town between key features.
  • Focusing investment – helping to create a “heart” for the town centre and avoid it spreading out
  • Greening things up – bringing in more natural landscapes and plantings.

 

What happened to the Town Centre rejuvenation?

You might have noticed that we’ve changed the name of this project from “Town Centre rejuvenation” to the Masterton Revamp. We’re now looking wider than just the work in the Town Centre and thinking about how we welcome people into the district, whether it be visitors to the district or whānau returning home.  All the work that has been done to date on the Town Centre, including the Town Centre strategy, has provided some strong foundations for the project so we’re definitely not starting from scratch!

 

How is the community represented in the process?

A community reference group has been appointed and 10 members have been chosen from over 50 applications. They reflect a broad range of interests and perspectives, and ensure the different needs of our diverse community are well represented – youth, business owners, iwi/hapu/marae, senior citizens, and other community groups of interest. The members will be able to provide a local perspective to the Council and its contractors during the design and construction work. We expect they will also be able to raise concerns or questions from their local community. You can find out more about the reference group online.

While the LTP won’t be adopted formally by the Council until June, this group has been established now because we are in early design stages for a number of key areas of the project.

 

Where are you going to be doing the work?

The key projects that we’re going to focus on aligning with our Town Centre Strategy.

  • Waipoua River precinct – recognising and celebrating the Waipoua landscape and how people interact with the river
  • Queen Street – consolidating the main shopping/café area
  • Park Street – creating an active east-west connection between Queen Elizabeth Park and the town centre
  • Bruce Street – create a strong art connection between Queen Elizabeth Park that supports diverse use of the street
  • Dixon Street – link the park to the town centre and make the street more user-friendly
  • Charlies Lane – adding vibrancy to the laneway in conjunction with Masterton Trust Lands Trust
  • Northern entrance – improvements and landscaping from the Ascension statue north to the town boundary
  • Southern entrance – a multi-staged project that includes upgrades from the Waingawa river through to Kuripuni
  • Coastal connection – enable better east-west flow of pedestrians, cyclists and traffic from adjoining neighbourhoods
  • Railway link: shared cycle path – provide an east-west active movement corridor from the railway station through the town centre, connecting the eastern and western suburbs
  • Placemaking – create an identity for the town centre that reflects the community of Masterton and its culture and heritage

 

What is the Town Centre Strategy about?

We want people to be attracted to our town centre – both Masterton residents and those that are visiting – and to create spaces that facilitate community connection. A vibrant and interesting town centre that attracts people helps build:

  • Community connection and satisfaction
  • Tourism appeal
  • Foot traffic through town
  • Retail spending in our town centre businesses
  • Investor confidence around investing in our town centre.

The Town Centre Strategy includes 10 projects. Our plan is to implement eight of these. Two projects, the Library precinct and the existing town hall precinct, have not been included given our plans to bring the library and civic facility together on a new site.

 

When will the work start?

The plan is still to kick off the town centre work with lower Queen Street after the busy 2021/22 Christmas period, but we’ll also be doing some work around the north entrance and the Kuripuni roundabout in 2021.

 

What’s wrong with things as they are now?

Masterton’s town centre needs a rethink – we’ve been aware of this for a while and have been speaking with our community about possibilities. We heard that people wanted connectivity and a revitalisation of parks and public spaces. We also know that the entry points into Masterton are tired and don’t necessarily reflect ‘us’ well. In our 2019 survey 8-in-10 residents agreed Council needs to do something about the entrances into Masterton, so now is the time to act.

 

What disruption will there be while you do the work?

There will be some disruption as we undertake work.  We will work to minimise this disruption as best we can.  For example, we have taken other scheduled maintenance work into consideration when planning this project.  Revamping the Town Centre at the same time as scheduled maintenance and looking to coordinate with NZTA when they’re working in the same areas we want to will help to minimise any disruption.

 

How is the budget made up?

The total estimated cost is $35.4 million. Council’s contribution will be $27.3 million (loan funded). Key components of this funding include (rounded to the nearest million):

  • $8.3 million for Queen Street
  • $3.1 million for Park Street
  • $1.7 million for Dixon and Bruce Streets
  • $1.2 million for the Waipoua precinct
  • $0.78 million for Charlies Lane
  • $0.82 million for the Northern entrance
  • $1.4 million for the Southern entrance
  • $1.9 million for the East and West entrances
  • $5.5 million for roading and footpath infrastructure
  • $1.7 million for water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure

 

Will Council partner with other funders on this?

We have aligned our work programme with NZTA funding opportunities to ensure we maximise the level of NZTA funding that we could receive.  We will also pursue other potential funding opportunities and partnership arrangements as they come up.

 

What is NZTA funding?

Every three years Waka Kotahi (the New Zealand Transport Agency, or NZTA) approves a three year programme of work to help Councils across New Zealand maintain and renew roads, streets and footpaths.  Some of the work we are doing in this revamp will be eligible for this funding. For this LTP we will be eligible for up to 57% subsidy for any work that meets the criteria and is approved by NZTA. Given that, we have staged some of the revamp work to align with NZTA funding opportunities.

 

Why don’t we scale back the project?

Scaling back is an alternative option that could be considered.  This would mean that the benefits of the Town Centre Strategy projects we are progressing will take longer to achieve.  There is also a risk that it would cost more as budgets escalate, and that we would have to ‘re-do’ some scheduled maintenance work that we have to get on with over the life of this LTP. There is an opportunity to attract high calibre contractors and competitive prices if we wrap the work together as a package rather than contracting out smaller projects on a stage by stage basis.

 

Why don’t we defer it?

The Council adopted the Town centre Strategy in 2018. Including the time we spent talking with our community about what they wanted to see in the Strategy, it took two years to develop.  As part of the 2020/21 Annual Plan, the Council committed to starting work in 2021 so work will be underway this year.  Deferring the work increases the risk of costs escalating. We will still need to undertake scheduled maintenance work within the town centre regardless.  Doing this work at the same time as progressing our improvement plans will be more efficient and more cost effective for our community.

 

How will this project impact other important things we need to deal with?

This investment doesn’t take anything away from other important work we are undertaking. It’s important to highlight that we have engaged with our community extensively on plans for investment in the town centre and received strong support. This sort of investment helps build our social connection and sense of satisfaction within our town, as well as assisting economic development.

Housing for Seniors

Where is the Panama Village complex?

On Ngaumutawa Road between Upper Plain Road and Ballance Street.

Panama Village

 

How did the Council receive the Panama land?

The Panama land on Ngaumutawa Road was originally owned by Arthur Powys Whatman, who died in 1938. In his will, Mr Whatman made a bequest of the land to the Wairarapa Hospital Board. The bequest was subject to very specific directions that the Panama land be held in trust, with Mr Whatman’s former dwelling to be used for a convalescent or rest home for the “sick, aged or needy”.  His will specifically directed that “no part of my trust realty shall at any time be sold, let or leased”.

A home for elderly people was established on the land in 1958. It ran at substantial losses and, as a consequence, the Hospital Board invited applications from other organisations to take over the operation.  The then Masterton Borough Council put forward a proposed scheme to transfer the Panama land to the Council for the provision of houses or villas for “old people”.  In this respect, it preserved the wishes of Mr Whatman by continuing to use the land as a residence for the “aged or needy” with land not required for accommodation to be used for “general recreation”.  The scheme was approved by the Supreme Court in June 1966.

 

What is public housing?

The Government has moved to use the term ‘public housing’ instead of ‘social housing’.

The definition of public housing in the NZ Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 is: Public houses are properties owned or leased by Housing New Zealand and Community Housing Providers that can be tenanted by people who are eligible for public housing. Public housing is therefore a general term covering both state and community housing.

The government provides subsidised rental housing through state-owned housing managed by Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and through around 40 community housing providers (CHPs) throughout New Zealand. CHPs can include churches, iwi and housing trusts. Councils are not able to become CHPs.  CHPs operating in Masterton include Emerge Aotearoa and Trust House. Public housing is allocated on the basis of need via the social housing register.

The Work and Income website provides information on Income Related Rent for people living in public housing. The website (March 2021) states:

When you live in public (social) housing, the amount of rent you pay is based on your income, and the income of people you live with. This is called ‘Income Related Rent’.

Income Related Rent means:

  • you pay some of the rent
  • the government pays some of the rent.

For more information see Work and Income

 

Who are Masterton’s community housing providers?

Trust House Masterton became New Zealand’s first registered provider in 2014, enabling it to offer the government’s income-related rent subsidy to new tenants taken from the Ministry of Social Development’s Social Housing Register. Trust House owns 361 residential properties in Masterton.

The Salvation Army New Zealand Trust (the Salvation Army) is a registered Social Housing Provider in the Wellington region.  The Salvation Army owns land and buildings adjacent to the Panama complex.

Emerge Aotearoa operates social housing across the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch regions, including 20 transitional houses/units in Masterton.

 

Is it the Council’s role to provide public housing?

The Council has a role to play in supporting the wellbeing of our community.  Housing is a basic need for health and wellbeing. The council has provided senior housing since at least the 1960s. Most councils around New Zealand provide senior housing, and many city councils also provide broader public housing.

How do people qualify for the Panama pensioner housing units?

Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can, at their request, be put on council’s waitlist for a unit. Criteria include being aged at least 60, receiving a permanent benefit, and having assets not exceeding $25,000 (for a single person) or $35,000 (for a couple).

 

How many people are on the waitlist?

As at 22nd March 2021 there are 26 people on the council’s waitlist. Some of these people require more than bedsits, and 16 of those have indicated they would be happy to be located at Panama.  There were 144 people listed on the public housing register in the Masterton district as at December 2020.

Who will be able to rent the new houses?

The Council’s Pensioner Housing Policy criteria will apply to the new houses.  Currently, the criteria include being aged at least 60, receiving a permanent benefit, and having assets not exceeding $25,000 (for a single person) or $35,000 (for a couple).

What will the rent be for the new units?

We have based our estimates on current market rents for equivalent properties which are $250 for the one-bedroom and $300 for the two-bedroom (based on the Tenancy services website).  The actual rent will be aligned with market rents at the time the units become available.

How much subsidy will people who rent these houses get?

People who are eligible could access an Accommodation Supplement through Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). The WINZ website (March 2021) states:

You may get an Accommodation Supplement if you:

  • have accommodation costs
  • are aged 16 years or more
  • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here
  • are not paying rent for a social housing property. Social housing properties are provided by Kāinga Ora (used to be Housing New Zealand) and approved community housing providers.

It also depends on:

  • how much you and your spouse or partner earn
  • any money or assets you and your spouse or partner have.

How much you will get on the Accommodation Supplement will depend on:

  • your income
  • your assets
  • your accommodation costs
  • your family circumstances
  • where you live.

If a Community Housing Provider (CHP) managed these houses, people who rent the houses could be eligible for an Income Related Rent subsidy.  This means they pay some of the rent, and the government pays some of the rent. The rate of the subsidy ensures people pay no more than 25% of their income on rent.

See more information about Accommodation Supplements.

See more information about Income Related Rent Subsidies.

 

What other housing does the Council own?

The Council owns 78 senior housing units in total, located across four sites – Panama, Bodmin flats, Truro flats and Laurent Place. The council also owns seven other houses associated with council assets that are managed as general rentals.

Why is the council only looking at public housing for elderly?

The land available at Panama was gifted to us and one of the requirements is that it is used for housing for the sick, aged or needy. The Council also has a history of providing pensioner/senior housing and existing units on the Panama site house senior members of our community.

What is the Council doing about housing for families or first home buyers?

We will continue to advocate for more affordable housing for our district, whether that is through central government or other housing providers.

How will the Council support others to build more affordable housing?

The Wairarapa Combined District Plan is currently being reviewed and we will be considering how that plan can best support our community’s needs.  We will be consulting on proposed changes to the plan in the near future.  We are also part of the Wellington Region and have been part of the development of the Wellington Regional Growth Framework, which addresses the need for housing across the entire region.

 

Additional Information: 

Masterton District Housing Stocktake

Wairarapa Region Positive Ageing Strategy

Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy

Water Resilience

What is Council doing about having enough water during dry periods?

Storage

The Council accepts that the effects of climate change are forecast to cause longer dry spells in the District. The Council has committed work in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan to increase water storage and create further resilience during those dry spells. This work includes:

  • New water reservoir at Lansdowne

The Council plans to install a new treated-water reservoir in Lansdowne, with the work starting in 2021/22. This will give the supplied area greater water supply resilience.

  • Additional raw water storage

In our 2021-31 Long-Term Plan, Council is planning additional raw water storage.

A provision has been made in our 10-year plan to increase raw water storage to provide around 40 days of storage for Masterton. The Council has tagged $7.4 million for this project, starting in 2023/24.

The Council has also signalled in our plan that we will consider alternative raw water storage options, such as the Wairarapa Water Ltd (WWL) project which is currently being managed as a private company and is in the resource consenting phase.

What is Council doing about using the water we already have efficiently?

Efficiency

Water is precious and we all need to do our part in using it efficiently. Masterton District Council believes that as custodians of the drinking water supply to the community we need to be championing efficient use of water and leading by example. Projects to use water efficiently in our 2021 LTP include:

  • Water meters 

The installation of urban water meters is now well underway in Masterton with approximately 80 per cent of meters installed. Water metering will allow all users to manage water more efficiently and identify leakage in our water network.

Current plans include charging for water use from 2022/23. This enables time to detect leaks in the system and on private property and remedy these problems.

  • Public conservation media

The Council is also committed to the efficient use of water. New projects, ideas and initiatives that the Council is involved with or support will be communicated to the wider community to make water conservation part of our daily activities.

What have we done so far?

  • The Council has already undertaken work to fix leaks at the Recreation Centre.
  • Old and deteriorating water pipe is being replaced to address pipe leakage.
  • Public plantings are being changed to plants that are better adapted to a drier climate.

Are we able to recycle wastewater?

Water re-use

In the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan we have included water re-use projects. These include

  • exploring tapping into the existing wastewater system, and extracting and treating the water  to re-use and irrigate plantings and trees
  • Homebush water irrigation

As part of our Homebush Wastewater Strategy, we have objectives to re-use our treated wastewater for land irrigation.

We currently already border-strip irrigate 75 hectares of land and we are looking to increase this land irrigation through various other initiatives, including spray irrigation.

Why don’t all new houses have to have water storage?

The Council is exploring options that may require residential properties and businesses to adapt how they operate. Examples may include.

  • water storage for all new properties
  • more efficient water use cisterns
  • low-flow showerheads

These options require a regulatory change and the Council is committed to exploring which options are best for Masterton District in the review of the Wairarapa Combined District Plan.

Paying for our Plan

What are rates?

Rates are charged on properties in our district and they are the main way the Council funds the work it does for the community. User charges and other revenue also help us pay for the services the Council delivers.

 

How much are rates going up?

The LTP sets out an average 5.3 per cent increase across the 10 years – we have been able to smooth rates increases to provide certainty and avoid some years with much larger increases than others. About half of the increase each year of the LTP are due to inflation.

 

How do the Big Decisions impact rates?

The three major projects (civic facility, Masterton revamp, pensioner housing) will largely be paid for with loans. That debt incurs interest and needs to be repaid over a period of time (known as debt servicing) that is longer than 10 years, and that pushes up the Council’s costs and need for increased rates revenue.

Once the projects are completed the impact on average urban residential rates is:

  • Civic facility – $101 per year by 2025/26
  • Masterton revamp – $214 per year by 2030/31
  • Pensioner housing – $11 per year from 2023

 

What about inflation over time?

We have built inflation into our Plan based on forecast inflation rates advised by BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited).  BERL provides the local government cost index information for all Councils to apply in our long-term plans.  See our Significant Assumptions Part 3 for more information.

 

What about changes in interest rates for lending time?

We have forecast interest rates on our debt-based on our current costs in year 1 and then financial market projections which are for interest rates to remain low (an average of 3% or below) for the duration of this ten-year Plan.  See our Significant Assumptions Part 3 for more information.

 

How do the QV revaluations impact rates?

Our rating system uses property valuations as one of a number of tools to allocate rates between properties.

Revaluations are carried out by Quotable Value every 3 years – this process is independent of the Council. When a revaluation occurs, the Council recalculates the rates-per-dollar of value required to collect the total rates income that is needed in the budget. The valuations are used to determine each property’s share of the rates – rates do not simply increase by the percentage increase of valuations.

If all valuations in the district increased by the same percentage, every property’s rates would only change by the percentage of the Council’s budget increase. Where a property’s valuation increases by less than the average increase, they can expect to pay a lower share of the total rates the Council needs. Where a property’s valuation increases by more than the average increase for the district, the property owner can expect to pay a higher share of the total rates the Council needs.

New valuations will be used for rates calculation in the new financial year, which starts on 1 July 2021. There is high variability of valuation changes this year, so typical rates increases are difficult to predict.

Please enquire with the Council our use the property search to find out what your property’s rates increase will be.

Fees and Charges

Why does council have fees and charges as well as rates?

Fees and charges are targeted at people who choose to use a particular service or make lifestyle choices that the Council is required to oversee or monitor, such as owning a dog or having a swimming pool.

 

Why are fees and charges increasing?

We are suggesting some changes to fees and charges from 1 July 2021 including increasing all fees by the rate of inflation.

We are also proposing to increase some fees by more than inflation to better reflect the cost of delivering the service. These fee areas include resource management fees, food premise verification fees, dog registration fees and swimming pool inspection fees.

We are proposing to increase dog registration fees to reflect the cost of building the new animal shelter, and cover costs that were absorbed last year when we chose not to increase dog registration fees as part of our COVID-19 response.

The Long-Term Plan and Submission Process

What is a long-term plan (LTP)?

An LTP is the council’s forward looking “road map”, covering a ten year period. It describes the services the council intends to provide for its community, capital projects to be undertaken, budgets, how everything is to be funded, and how the council’s performance in delivering its key services will be measured.

 

What period does the long-term plan cover?

LTPs are a 10 year plan. This LTP will cover from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2031.

 Planning Cycle

How often do councils prepare a new long-term plan?

The LTP is refreshed every three years with an Annual Plan produced in a non-LTP year. The last LTP was adopted by Council in 2018.

 

Will there be a draft long-term plan prepared for public consultation?

No. Councils are not required to have the full LTP document available for public consultation, but do need to make available all the major components that build up the LTP. This information is  available below as supporting information for the Consultation Document.

The key document that Council consults on is the LTP Consultation Document. The Council will prepare the full long-term plan after public consultation has taken place and the community’s views have been considered. The supporting information includes the key financial policies, the draft financial statements, the full financial and infrastructure strategies, and the forecasting assumptions used as a basis for the projections.

 

What is the ‘consultation document’?

The consultation document sets out what the council plans to do in the coming 10 years. It outlines proposals for the major projects and changes to funding over the 10 year period and identifies options and costs being considered. It includes an overview of our financial and infrastructure strategies and an overview of planned major projects.

The Consultation Document focuses on Councils key proposals, seeking feedback from the community on these. In saying this, there is an opportunity for residents and ratepayers to put forward their ideas to the Council.

 

Where can I get a copy of the consultation document?

The LTP consultation document is available on this page in the Key Documents sidebar. Hard copies can also be picked up from our Council office at 161 Queen Street, Masterton or from the Library.

 

What is the process for giving feedback to the council around its LTP?

We are inviting submissions from anyone interested in having a say on what should be included in our Long Term Plan and which option should be chosen for the proposals on the big decisions.

Submissions close at 4pm on 3 May 2021. As part of an open and transparent consultation process, submissions are treated as public documents once received.

There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback at face-to-face sessions during the consultation period.  While verbal comments at these sessions are not treated as “formal submissions”, a summary of comments received will be provided to Council to consider as part of the deliberations process.

 

How do I make a submission?

We encourage everyone to make their submission online.

You can read the Consultation Document and answer the questions as you work your way through the document. By registering in our submission software you have the ability to save as you go and pause your submission, finishing it the next day, or the next week. Once you’ve registered and used the system you can look back at past submissions and use parts again if they are still applicable. The online system saves Council administration costs and allows us to publish the submissions faster.

 

Who do I contact if I have trouble registering?

Phone the Council and a staff member will talk you through the registration process. We will also be holding drop-in sessions every Wednesday 10 – noon in our Library where staff will be available to help you register to make a submission.

 

Other ways to make a submission include:

  • Send us an email to [email protected]
  • Phone us on 06-370-6300 and tell us what you think.
  • Or, if you require a hardcopy submission form, you can pick one up from our Queen Street office or the Library.

 

Can I also speak to the mayor and councillors about my submission?

Yes, during the consultation period you can attend any of our ‘kanohi ki kanohi’ (face to face) sessions – these are listed above and will be updated as new opportunities are confirmed.

Supporting Information

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