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Annual Plans

Every 10 years Council lays out a Long-Term Plan (LTP) that sets the strategic direction over the next 10 years.

Annual plans are usually produced in the years between the LTPs, giving us an opportunity to review and revise rates, budgets, projects and goals from those originally proposed in the LTP.  

Annual Plan 2022-23

Masterton District Council adopted its 2022-23 Annual Plan in June 2022. The plan outlines our key projects and activities for the 2022/23 financial year and associated budget.

The 2022/23 Annual Plan has been developed during a period of ongoing global and national challenges related
to the COVID-19 pandemic including economic conditions, inflation, labour market, and housing challenges.

We know these global and national challenges are impacting locally. We are very aware of the increasing cost
of living for our community and have worked hard to minimise cost increases.

We are proud to be on track with our plans for 2022/23 and to continue to deliver the services and assets that
we committed to in our 2021-31 Long-Term Plan – despite the challenging circumstances.

Over the next 12 months we will progress a range of projects including:

  • the renewal of the southbound lane of the Colombo Road bridge over the Waipoua River
  • delivery of our new animal shelter
  • tendering of work at Hood Aerodrome
  • indentifying options for Civic Facility consultation.

We will also continue programmed maintenance and renewals work to look after our existing assets.

in focus for us this year will be considering the way we move forward as an organisation through reforms such as the Three Waters Reform Programme and the review of the Future for Local Government, and the impact of those reforms on some of our key projects.

There will be many opportunities for conversations with our community over they coming year, and we strongly encourage you to get involved and have your say.

While the year ahead may remain uncertain with changes coming that will continue to shape our operating environment, we are as prepared as we can be and we will continue to adapt as we need to.

One thing that won’t change is our commitment to delivering great service and assets for the Masterton community.


How does the Council's planning process work?

Every three years – part way through each election term – the city is required to develop and adopt a long-term plan. In the years between long-term plans, annual plans are produced that outline any changes to the budget. 

At the end of each year, an annual report and summary annual report let the community know about what’s been achieved and how we have performed, as well as anything that hasn’t quite gone to plan or anything unexpected that’s come up.

What is an Annual Plan?

Annual plans are produced for the years between long-term plans. Annual plans give us the opportunity to refresh information and budgets for the coming year, and include the setting of rates.

Why can Councils choose not to consult on annual plans?

A series of amendments were made to the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) in 2014 to encourage new ways of consulting and communicating with the community.

One of these amendments removed the requirement for councils to formally consult “if there are no significant or material differences to the content of the long-term plan”. This now makes formal consultation on proposed annual plans exceptions based.

An annual plan that includes an overview of any minor changes in costs (along with all other information required under Part 2 of Schedule 10 of the Act) must still be prepared and adopted by council resolution before 30 June.

How do we determine what's significant?

Section 5 of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) describes “significance” as the degree of importance of any issue, proposal, decision, or matter, as assessed by the local authority, in terms of its likely impact on, and consequences for:

  • the city (district) or region
  • anyone likely to be particularly affected or interested
  • the capacity of the local authority to perform its role, and the financial and other costs of doing so.

Section 5 also describes “significant” as any issue, proposal, decision, or other matter having a “high degree of significance, that is:

  • significant or material variations/departures from the financial statements or funding impact statement in the long-term plan
  • significant new spending proposals, and the associated costs, or
  • substantial delays to, or cancellation of, significant projects, and associated implications. 

The Council is required to have a significance and engagement policy under Section 76AA of the Local Government Act 2002. The Policy is reviewed every three years as part of long-term plans.

Significance is more than a financial impact, and often items with low value but that have high public interest can be significant.

Significance is ultimately determined by the elected members – read our Significance and Engagement Policy on our policy page. 

What's the difference between formal consultation and engagement?

Consultation involves receiving public feedback on proposals and is one form of engagement. The Council regularly consults communities through processes such as the long-term plan, which determine Council’s strategic direction, as well as how it sets budgets and prioritises projects. 

The Council will consult with the community about significant decisions following the principles set out in Section 82 of the Act. The Council can also decide to consult at any time on a decision, where it considers that appropriate. For most Council decisions, there is no express requirement to consult the public, but we will consider people’s views and preferences. 

Engagement is a broader and ongoing process of sharing information with the community and seeking its feedback, with the purpose of involving the community in the process of decision making. This may or may not include a more formal consultation process.

What if I have feedback for Council?

We are happy to receive feedback at any time throughout the year, not just at annual plan time. 

Please get in touch if you want to share your ideas, have some positive feedback about our staff, or have something you are not so happy about via our complaint, compliment or fix it forms or by calling 06 370 6300. 

What are other councils doing?

Since the amendment was made in 2014, more than 20 councils have had only minor changes to forecasts and have therefore elected not to formally consult. 

For 2019-20, a number of councils in the Wellington region are choosing to take this approach. Hutt City, Greater Wellington, Kāpiti Coast, and Porirua in particular have indicated this.

How does it relate to my rates bill?

Each year, the rates get set in the annual plan. The average rate increase for 2019-20 was set as part of the 2018–28 Long-Term Plan.

What is a Long-Term Plan?

The Long-Term Plan (LTP) is the capital and operational expenditure the Council intends to undertake over the next 20 years, and the impacts on the community.

 The LTP describes these impacts in financial and non-financial terms, through financial statements and the resulting changes to rates and debt. The non-financial terms are mainly the performance measures relating to the levels of service. 

It’s important to remember that the LTP is only a forecast and the actual results may be different, particularly after year 4, as there is a new LTP developed every three years.

What is required when amending a Long-Term Plan?

The amendment process would depend on the complexity of the amendment, but any amendment must go through a formal public consultation and submission process where the proposal is considered by the community for no less than one calendar month. Any amendment must be externally audited.

How else can I give feedback throughout the year?

Engaging with our community happens all-year-round, not just when it comes time for the Annual Plan process.

You can send us feedback at any time via our complaint, compliment or fix it forms or by calling 06 370 6300. 

You are also welcome to drop in to our office at 161 Queen Street between 8.00 am and 4.30 pm and give your feedback to any of our friendly customer service executives. 

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