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26 September 2017
Waipa District Council has ended the financial year with an operating surplus of $29.9 million largely driven by growth.
Today's Council meeting adopted the 2016-2017 Annual Report, noting $22 million of the operating surplus came from vested assets as well as development and reserve contributions. Chief financial officer Ken Morris said strong growth in the last financial year meant rates formed just 50% of the Council's total revenue.
"Council's self-imposed limit puts the amount of our income reliant on rates at 65% so we are well within that," he said. "That's very positive because it demonstrates the Council has diverse income streams and is not overly reliant on ratepayers to meet costs."
Morris noted that while the Council's 2015-2025 10-Year Plan had allowed for a rates increase of 5.5% last year, it had been held "much lower" at 2.1%.
Council ended the year with debt of $13.2 million which is low compared to many other councils. There was a cash surplus of $1.2 million after making provision for a small number of carry forward and other items.
"We have contained debt despite having continued to invest heavily in core infrastructure throughout the year," Morris said. "This reflects the fact we have very good financial disciplines in place and it means we are in a sound financial position to move ahead with major capital expenditure programmes coming up in the next decade."
He said the cash surplus would be held in reserve until its use is determined.
“The money may be used to reduce next year’s rates or for some other project but that is something for elected members to decide. Generally Council looks to give the benefit back to ratepayers as quickly as possible."
The revaluation of land, buildings and infrastructure added $156.3 million to Council's balance sheet last year, taking net equity to $1.5 billion.
Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of Council) 027 5077 599