Your Council

Questions and answers

Got questions on our annual plan consultation? Answers to common questions are below.

If you've got a question that isn't answered here, please get in touch with us at and let us know.

What is an annual plan?
The annual plan sets out how the Council will spend its budget over the coming year.  It directs our activities and ensures we manage ratepayers’ money responsibly.  It is a key part of our accountability to the community as well as being a legislative requirement.

What does the annual plan process involve?
The content of the long term plan relating to a particular financial year is the starting point for the annual plan.  This is reviewed in the light of any changing needs or requirements and the community consulted on any significant proposed changes.  After considering community feedback, a final annual plan for that year is adopted.

What is the difference between an annual plan and long term plan?
Our long term plan summarises planned Council activities and expenditure over a 20 year period; the annual plan describes the services we provide as well as our planned activities for one particular financial year.

The Council develops a long term plan every three years and an annual plan in the intervening two years.
The Council has a current long term plan for 2015-35.  Our next long term plan will be developed for 2018-38.  Work is already underway on this, and we’ll be talking to Kāpiti residents and ratepayers about the upcoming long term plan very soon.

Where can I get a copy of the annual plan consultation document and further information on the annual plan?
From 31 March printed copies of the annual plan consultation document will be available at Council service centres and libraries.

The consultation document is also avialable on the Council website, along with key component parts of the draft annual plan.

How can I provide feedback on the draft annual plan?
Feedback on the draft annual plan can be made using Council’s online submission portal, by post, email, or using the submission boxes at Council service centres and libraries. 

Submissions can be made until 5pm, 1 May 2017.

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What are the major changes proposed in the 2017/18 annual plan?
Community feedback is being sought on changes included in the proposed 5.9% averages rates increase related to:

  • Economic development;
  • National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity;
  • Stormwater;
  • Self-insurance fund;
  • New link walkway in Paekākāriki;
  • Makarini Street, Paraparaumu;
  • Waikanae Beach Hall; and
  • Further enhancements at Haruatai Park, Ōtaki.

In addition, feedback is sought on:

  • reduced service levels for rural berm mowing and sweeping of kerbs;
  • changes to fees and charges; and
  • our proposed average rates increase exceeding our financial strategy limit set in the long term plan.

Further detail on all of these items is included in our annual plan consultation document

We’re inviting suggestions for any adjustments to Council services or facilities residents and ratepayers would be happy to see in order to reduce rates.

Are all changes proposed included in the consultation document?
The changes set out in the annual plan consultation document are the key changes and ones that we believe will have a higher level of community interest.  A full list of all proposed changes is available in the document “Proposed changes to year three of the Long Term Plan 2015-35”, which is available on the Council website at

What will my rates be for 2017/18?
The proposed average rates increase across the district for 2017/18 is 5.9%.  The actual rates increase for individual properties will differ, however.  From 31 March, you will be able to find out the proposed 2017/18 rates for your property (click on the 'Next rating year' tab).

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How does the proposed rates increase compare to the forecast increase?
The proposed average rates increase of 5.9% for 2017/18 is higher than the 4.9% forecast and the financial strategy limit set in 2015. Two years on, a higher average rates increase is necessary to address recent changes while continuing to progress towards the vision agreed with the community in the long term plan.

How was the proposed average rates increase of 5.9% arrived at?
The work plan set out for 2017/18 in the long term plan was reviewed by Councillors in the context of changes in our operating environment, for example new legislative requirements, the need to further improve our community resilience in an environment impacted by recent earthquakes and severe weather events, and a drive to improve our ability to deliver on our economic development strategy.

The majority of the proposed 5.9% rates increase is largely unavoidable, with the funding of depreciation and inflation accounting for 4.5% and new compliance costs a further 0.2%. 

Why doesn’t the Council look for other ways to reduce the proposed rates increase?
In the past two years the Council has had strong feedback from the community that we should not cut services and facilities in order to reduce rates.  This year we’ve proposed only two minor reductions in service.  We are, however, keen to hear suggestions for any adjustments to Council services or facilities residents and ratepayers would be happy to see in order to reduce rates.  There is a space set aside for this in the feedback form.

What about ratepayers who can’t afford the rates increase?
We appreciate that affordability is an issue for many in our district, and we’ve worked hard to keep the proposed rates increase as low as possible.  Our rates / water rates remission policy and government rates rebates continue to be available for those on low incomes or facing extreme hardship.  The Council sets aside up to $370,000 a year for rates / water rates remissions.  In addition, low income home owners are able to apply to the Department of Internal Affairs for a rates rebate subsidy of up to $610.00.  We encourage ratepayers in need to make use of these options. 

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Why are the proposed average rates increases different for each town?
This year a significant portion of the proposed rates increase (almost 60%) is for rates that are charged or shared across the district based on the value of the property (land value and capital value).  This means that areas of the district with higher value properties will see a higher average rates increase.

Why is the rates impact of capital expenditure and operating expenditure different?
The Council’s annual operating expenses are predominantly funded by rates, which are supplemented by income from fees and user charges.

In the case of capital expenditure, the Council borrows money to fund capital expenditure. Assets last for a number of years so it makes sense to recover and share the cost of these assets throughout their life. This is done by repaying borrowings for an asset over its useful life rather than all in one year.

Each year ratepayers contribute towards the depreciation costs for the assets through rates. This funding is used to repay the borrowings.

Why is depreciation part of the proposed rates increase?
Charging for depreciation in rates makes sure that we are collecting money from ratepayers over the life of the assets we build. This ensures that we have sufficient funding available to replace assets in the future, when they reach the end of their life.

What are the implications of us exceeding the maximum rates increase the Council set for itself in the financial strategy in our long term plan?
The Council is required to clearly identify that it has exceeded its limit in the consultation document and in the disclosure statement that is included in the appendices to the annual plan.  There are no other legislative implications of exceeding this limit.

What is the Wellington region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan?
Eight councils are proposing to revoke their current Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP) 2011, and adopt the proposed Wellington Region Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (2017).  We are consulting with residents and ratepayers on the plan at the same time as our annual plan. 

Feedback can be provided on regional actions as well as local actions in Kāpiti via Council’s online submission portal, by post, email, or using the submission boxes at Council service centres and libraries.

Annual plan submissions closed on 1 May

Check the proposed 2017/18 rates for your property