Sound financial management has given New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) a $13.6 million surplus for the 2016/17 financial year, according to its draft Annual Report which was independently audited by Audit New Zealand.
Revenues were up on the budget forecast and spending was on target at $130m.
NPDC managed assets valued at $2.5 billion, resulting in international credit agency Standard and Poor’s confirming NPDC’s financial rating as AA/A1 in October 2016, the highest possible ranking for local government in New Zealand.
Acting Chief Executive Alan Bird said the credit rating was one of three main highlights of the 2016/17 financial year.
“The award from travel publisher Lonely Planet announcing Taranaki as one of the top two regions in the world to visit was another, thanks to decades of sustained investments from councils,” says Mr Bird.
“And many hours of listening and conversation have resulted in the creation of Te Huinga Taumatua, our new iwi-NPDC governance partnership committee.”
NPDC provides core services such as roads, water and waste, as well as dynamic arts, cultural and recreational opportunities for both locals and visitors. New Plymouth Airport, Brooklands Zoo, Venture Taranaki, commercial property and even a crematorium are part of the varied portfolio.
Other highlights over the past year were:
- A comprehensive community discussion on proposed focus areas begins, as a prelude to engagement on the 10-year work programme, called the Long-Term Plan.
- Zero Waste journey: the Council decides to develop a waste reduction and education facility on Colson Road to reduce the district’s waste volume.
- Treasure our Water: the Water Master Plan, to manage the district’s water supply with a focus on sustainability, is adopted.
- Modernising through technology: a new website as a platform for developing more digital-based Council services is launched.
- The Entertainment Venue Association of New Zealand Awards names Yarrow Stadium the Large Venue of the Year, beating Eden Park and Hagley Oval for the accolade.
- The World Health Organisation reconfirms New Plymouth District as an International Safe Community, a title we have held since 2005.
- The government approves NPDC’s funding application for the next nationwide roll-out of ultra-fast broadband to include Waitara, Inglewood, Urenui and Okato.
- The Len Lye Centre wins the Best Creative Place Award from Local Government New Zealand.
For all the details, read the draft Annual Report in the Audit and Risk Committee agenda here: newplymouthnz.com/meetings.