With just over a month until voting opens, Hutt City Council’s Pre-election Report sets out the challenges and opportunities that newly elected members will need to respond to as the city’s population grows.
The Pre-election Report is a resource to inform communities on Council’s performance since the last election and to give an overview of what is expected to be achieved in the next three years. The Report is designed to encourage and enhance discussion and debate on the key issues facing the city and provides financial information to consider alongside Council’s strategic direction.
Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller say that there are a number of issues that will need to be discussed in the lead-up to the election and important decisions will need to be made by the new Council when elected.
“The new Council will need to make a number of important decisions in the areas that matter most to the people of Lower Hutt – housing, transport, infrastructure, the mix and level of council services, improving the wellbeing of our communities, finding a solution for Naenae Pool and responding to the impacts of climate change.”
Growth holds major opportunities for the city, but will bring another set of challenges for the incoming council, says Jo Miller.
“The city is on track for a level of growth it has not seen since the 1970s, and while growth holds major opportunities for Lower Hutt, from attracting new investments and talent, creating higher value jobs and businesses through to building a more vibrant, sustainable and exciting city, change also brings with it some challenges.
“Established residents may be concerned about the pace of change and what that will mean for them in terms of the lifestyle they currently enjoy, others want to ensure that growth happens in the right areas where it is sustainable, the environment is protected and the city has resilient infrastructure.”
The report also sets out the Council’s financial position and outlook. The Council is in a strong financial position, with significant infrastructure assets, land and buildings valued at $1.6 billion.
“Our prudent and sustainable financial management is reflected in our strong credit rating from Standard & Poor’s – an AA credit rating with a stable outlook. This is the highest possible rating for a Council and enables us to access lower cost borrowings to fund capital investment in the city,” says Jo Miller.
Anyone interested in standing in this year’s election is urged to submit their nomination forms as soon as possible. Forms are available via the Hutt City Council website, along with useful information for candidates and voters.
Nominations close at midday on 16 August, while the election runs from 20 September to 12 October.