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Annual Plan

What is an Annual Plan?

Annual Plans allow us to review and adjust the detailed budgets contained in our Long Term Plan. The Annual Plan 2023/24 sets out how we will work towards our goals for the 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024 financial year.

Every three years, the Regional Council produces a Long Term Plan. The Long Term Plan is our main planning document – it sets our strategic direction as a council and establishes the work we will deliver to the community over the next 10 years, as well as setting out how that work will be funded.

While we must have a long-term view to be able to make good decisions, 10 years is a long time, and a lot of things can change. Every three years the plan is refreshed for the next decade to make sure it is still on the right path.

Councils prepare an Annual Plan in each of the two years between Long Term Plan reviews to set out how we will work towards our goals.

Annual Plan 2023/24

Why are rates increasing?

Since the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan was adopted, inflation and interest rates have been higher than predicted. This is an economic challenge that is impacting all organisations and businesses across New Zealand, and is the main contributor to increases in our Annual Plan 2023/24 budget.

Other factors include changes to the rules we work under – in particular the compliance and regulatory rules set by Central Government, which regional councils must enforce and monitor.

When deciding how to fund the Annual Plan, we look at how we can keep rates as affordable as possible, by reprioritising funds and using financial reserves to reduce the pressure on ratepayers.

Which rates will be most impacted?

Rate type

Real increase (excluding inflation)

Inflation-related increase

Total percentage

Average increase per ratepayer per annum (real + inflation)

General rates





General rates pay for work that can benefit the whole region. We calculate the general rate using your property’s land value.

Targeted rates

Targeted rates fund work that is specific to where you live or the services you receive.

Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme





Tauranga Public Transport





Rotorua Public Transport





Whakatane Public Transport






Annual Plan at a glance

What’s new?

  • $75K additional funding for Coast Care, which empowers local communities, local authorities, care groups and schools to restore and protect our region’s coast.
  • $730K for the repair, replacement and upgrade of urban stopbanks to continue to help protect the community against flood events in Whakatāne.
  • $500K per annum to deliver He tirohanga hononga, He ara mua - a connected view, a pathway to the future. This is our new regional spatial planning work programme, which will enable a more integrated and connected view of the region and associated sub-regions.

We’re also…

  • Continuing to fund community led projects through our grant funding programmes, including the Environmental Enhancement Fund, the School Sustainability and Resilience Fund and Te Hāpai Ora - Regional Community Outcomes.
  • Discounted bus fares for youth. Children under 18 years old will travel for free and under 25s will get 50% off. We’re extending Central Government's age-based public transport discounts to include free travel to 18 years old (in other regions, free fares finish at 13 years old). 
  • We're refreshing Rotorua's bus network and, with our partners at Rotorua Lakes Council and Waka Kotahi, making infrastructure upgrades. This will deliver significant improvements to public transport in Rotorua and connecting the community.
  • Extending our Kia Marutau ki te Wai Programme – a ‘harm prevention programme’ that provides safer boating education and resources to individual iwi and hapū, to help more people get home safely to their whanau every day. This had a successful pilot in Tauranga Moana and is being extended to Rotorua and the East Coast.
  • Investigating the potential of Blue Carbon in the region, which is the carbon captured and stored by coastal wetlands. Our work involves mapping potential saltmarsh habitat across our region, validating local carbon sequestration rates and actively restoring some saltmarsh sites.

Why we didn’t consult on the Annual Plan:

At the council meeting on 16 March 2023, Councillors decided not to consult with the community on changes in the Annual Plan. This is for several reasons:

  • The main reasons for increases are inflation and interest, which means we cannot provide any alternative options for the community to submit feedback on.
  • The work programme is on track with what was agreed on in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.
  • The budget increases to both operational and capital expenditure are not deemed significant (in terms of the Regional Council’s Significant and Engagement Policy).

Rates Resolution 2023/24

Council approved the rates resolution for the 2023/24 year at a meeting on 29 June 2023. Below is a record of the rates resolution approved by Council.

More information on rates can be found in our rates section.