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2022's Annual Report is out

Thursday 29 September, 2022

The Annual Report for the 2021-2022 financial year was adopted today by Councillors, who sat together for the last time before the election results next week.

Gisborne District Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says the Annual Report tells Council’s financial story over the past financial year (1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022). It shows how rates are spent and is an important document to inform our communities about what we do.

“Overall, we are pleased to advise our community that we remain in a financially strong position, both in terms of debt and our overall financial performance,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

The report shows the bulk of Council’s income came from external grants and services, as the biggest capital expenditure programme in Council’s history was carried out across our region.

Income from rates made up 43 percent of Council’s total operating revenue with 57 percent from external grants and subsidies.

“This is a significant highlight and indicates that ratepayers in this district get more gains for what they pay,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

“While some of the external funding was received for emergency works the majority of funding was for projects that supported activities and projects that benefit our community and would otherwise not have been delivered.”

The last financial year also saw a record high of $79m in capital works being delivered.  This included:

“This is more than double our average over the past ten years,” says Ms Thatcher Swann.

“It’s been an incredibly busy year, especially for teams like building consents who completed thousands of inspections as building activity took off across the region, and we expect this year to be as busy, if not busier.

“This was all achieved against a significant backdrop of challenges and uncertainty.

“Over the year, we battled the Omicron outbreak and another snap lockdown on 17 August 2021, along with many challenges that affected the psychological wellbeing of our community.

“There were also four severe weather events and two Civil Defence emergencies declared, which resulted in the significant mobilisation of our staff to support community efforts and $26m of unbudgeted emergency works.”

As part of recovery efforts, the Gisborne Disaster Relief Trust was established to distribute funds that come in to help local disaster relief efforts as storms increase in severity and frequency.

“On top of that we had a lot of changes happening at the central government level that we had to respond to, in particular the Three Waters Reform.

“Over the last 12 months we as a Council have also undertaken a journey of improved understanding of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi context in Tairāwhiti. We will continue to develop effective and meaningful collaboration with mana whenua to ensure co-governance is achieved for decision-making that affects us all.”

Earlier this year Council adopted a net zero emissions target for 2030. Ms Thatcher Swann says climate change, and its impact on our region, remain a lens through which all future Council decisions are made.

This past year more than 14,000 native plants were planted along five of our urban waterways and dog registration tags are now metal to stop more than 10,000 plastic tags from being thrown away every year. Cycleways and walkways continue to be developed and linked up to encourage different modes of transport around our city.

Fines and historic debt on overdue library books were also wiped to encourage more people to use our library.