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Regional council performace and achievements set out in annual report

Monday, 3 October 2011 9:30 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's performance and achievements for the year are set out in its annual report which was adopted at the Council's meeting on Thursday.

Group Manager Corporate Services Brian Trott said the Annual Report showed how well the Council had performed this year - both in what it did and how much it cost.

The Council recorded an operating deficit of $486,000 - $1.15 million less than the budgeted deficit of $1.6 million.  

"This year we achieved savings by spending $2.3 million less on operating costs, this was offset by receiving $1.2 million less in income to achieve the reduced deficit," Mr Trott said.

The Regional Council's operating expenditure included a number of unbudgeted costs, including costs associated with major floods and contributions to Canterbury earthquake relief funds.

Project delays meant grants budgeted for sewerage schemes totalling $4 million were deferred and will now be spent in 2011/12. Capital expenditure was under budget by $3.5 million.  

Mr Trott said the Council was fortunate to be able to purchase a property at Onekawa that provided a great improvement in public access to open space in the region. The purchase was allowed for under long term plans but had not been specifically budgeted for that year. 

Significant areas of lower income included $1.9 million less from investments due to lower than expected interest rates during the year and the deferring of vesting a $2.1 million asset with the Council. More revenue was received than planned including $1.4 million capital gains on the sale of investments and assets, and $1.5 million more income from grants, land owner contributions and user fees. 

The Council's income came from rates, finance income, trading revenue and other gains. We budgeted to receive $77.8 million in revenue, but actually received $76.6 million, $1.2 million less than planned. Of the $76.6 million income received, one third ($25.5 million) came from rates, $22.8 million from finance income (dividends and interest etc), $1.4 million from the sale of investments and assets, $27 million from Central Government grants, user fees and charges and other revenue. 

The Council's operating costs were $77.1 million. The costs were split between groups of activities:

  • $35.9 million (47 percent) was spend on natural environment activities and programmes (including protecting and restoring the Rotorua lakes, improving Rotorua air quality, sustainable land management, pollution prevention and resource monitoring and regulation)
  • $24.3 million (32 percent) was spent on sustainable development and infrastructure programmes (including public transport, facilitating regional economic development, and rivers, drainage and flood management)
  • $15.5 million (20 percent) was spent on regional leadership activities (including providing governance services and accountability, developing and reviewing strategic policy, and providing support to the community through the Environmental Enhancement Fund, regional parks and open space, and community engagement. This includes the cost of providing regional civil defence and emergency management services)
  • $2.3 million (three percent) was spent on corporate services (including information services and technology, human resources, corporate support, property management, and procurement, finance and data services)

Capital expenditure cost $10.3 million, $3.5 million less than budget. Some planned rivers and drainage work was not carried out as resources were diverted into urgent flood repairs. (This work will be completed in the current financial year instead.) Construction, and expenditure, of a denitrification plant for Tikitere (Lake Rotorua) was delayed. Changes in information technology and services capital and operating programmes cost less than expected.   

Major capital projects completed over the year included the Bell Road drain stopbank (Kaituna River Scheme) and capital works on Waitepuru stream, the purchase of a 6.5 hectare Onekawa property for future use as a regional park and the development of a floating wetland for Lake Rotoehu.  

Mr Trott said the report was received positively by Audit New Zealand, which checks that the report complies with national practices and requirements and that it reflects our performance, services and financial position.

"Every year we're improving how we report on our performance and this year was no exception," Mr Trott said.

The Annual Report and a summary of the report will be available later in October from the Council's website or by phoning 0800 884 880.

Ends.

For further media information please contact Yvonne Rooney, Senior Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 880.

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