Annual Plan 2023/24


The Annual Plan 2023/24

The Annual Plan 2023/24 sets out Council’s plan and budget for the year 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024. This Annual Plan correlates to Year 3 of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan and reflects any changes to the work programme for the year.

An Introduction from your Mayor and Chief Executive


Our district has faced challenging times over the last couple of years and remains in good shape.

Through the pandemic and international turmoil, the ongoing cost of living pressures and recent weather events, the Timaru District has demonstrated relatively strong economic growth, employment opportunities and relatively affordable housing, resulting in being recognised as the number one region to live in New Zealand.

Council has continued to deliver in the face of adversity, such as completing the Te Ana Wai Downlands water treatment plan and progressing the re-development of the Theatre Royal.

Over the next year, we remain committed to delivering on the ambitious plans we agreed with the community in the Long Term Plan 2021-31. This includes progressing the big projects currently underway, and maintaining levels of service for activities like roading maintenance, parks, and community facilities.

Inflationary pressures, a large increase in the funds we need to replace our assets in future years (depreciation), and increases in supplier contracts have resulted in an 11.1% average rates increase. In total for the 2023/24 financial year, we have budgeted $81.7M for capital projects, and $122.8M for our operating budget to run day-to-day activities.

This is a significantly higher increase than we had originally forecasted. However, we consider this approach strikes the right balance between planning responsibly for our community now and into the future, managing Council’s finances prudently, and keeping rates as affordable as possible in these difficult economic times.

As a District, let’s pull together to deliver this plan, and continue to ensure that the Timaru District is the best place for Kiwis to live, work and play.

Ma te mahitahi o nga whenu, ma te mahitahi o nga kairaranga

Ka oti tenei mahi

(Only by the weaving together of many strands by many weavers will this work be completed)

Kei te harikoa mātou kit e mahi tahi ki a koutou

(We look forward to working with you)

Nigel Bowen – Mayor

Bede Carran – Chief Executive

You can read more about what is planned in the Annual Plan 2023/24 in our information below

Supporting Information

Background and Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Annual Plan?

All local authorities are required to prepare an Annual Plan under Section 95 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Annual plans are produced for the years between Long-Term Plans (LTP), with the LTP setting the longer term strategic direction.

The annual plan is a one-year snapshot of Council’s intended work programme for the year. It outlines what the Council is planning to do, and any changes to the relevant year of the Long Term Plan, including financial information such as costs and funding and rates.

Annual plans are based on the relevant year of the Long Term Plan, and give us the opportunity to refresh information and budgets for the coming year, and include the setting of rates. They also highlight any changes to the Annual Plan for that particular year.

How does the council planning process work?

Every three years – part way through each election term – the council is required to develop and adopt a long-term plan. The first year of each LTP represents the Annual Plan for that year. In the years between long-term plans, annual plans are produced. These outline any changes to the LTP work programme and budget.

At the end of each year, an annual report and summary annual report is produced. These 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.

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 – that is, if there are no significant changes Council is not legally required to consult.

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 decide what is 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 likely consequences for:

  • the 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.

Timaru District Council Significance and Engagement policy

Significance covers more than just a financial impact, and sometimes items with

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 with the community 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 want to let the Council know my views, and it’s not part of a formal consultation?

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.

If it’s a particular issue around something you think needs fixing, contact our Customer Services team on (03) 687 7200 or or via our Website - Contact Us

You can also use the App Snap-Send-Solve, available via the Apple App store or Android’s Google Play.

What’s the Long Term Plan (LTP)?

The 2021-31 Long Term Plan was adopted in July last year and forms the basis for the 2022/23 Annual Plan. You can read more about the Long Term Plan 2021/31 on

Last updated: 11 Jul 2023