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Building up our community resilience

The current situation

The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle brought unexpected costs for Council. These included rates remissions for cyclone-affected ratepayers, and new costs for recovery and resilience planning. To help pay for these costs, on 1 July 2023 we introduced a Disaster Recovery Rate to fund a cyclone recovery budget of $1.5 million for 2023/24. This money was set aside for cyclone recovery purposes only. We want to keep this rate so we can build our resilience to knocks and shocks and thrive no matter what the future holds.

Our recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle is still ongoing, and we recognise that we must be ready for future emergencies. This planning will come at a cost. Climate-related events are likely to become more frequent, and we need to build up reserves (savings) to pay for other potential emergencies beyond Cyclone Gabrielle.

P.19 Community Resilience Option 1Under this option, the Disaster Recovery Rate would be renamed the Resilience Rate. It would be set aside for activities related to emergency preparedness. This could include activities like civil defence planning or working with other organisations to get the community prepared for emergencies. It could also include projects to help us withstand knocks and shocks, such as improving our stormwater network so businesses can continue to operate and residents are safe from flooding.

The Resilience Rate would be calculated as a Uniform Annual General Charge of $85.90 per rating unit, on all rating units in Napier. It is a fixed amount applied to every property, regardless of value or property type. It will be shown as a separate item in rates invoices.

P.19 Community Resilience Option 2Under this option, funding for emergency preparedness would come from our existing general rates budget. This would mean our ability to improve our readiness for civil defence events would be limited and such improvements would be made over a longer period.

Examples are projects such as upgrades to improve the resilience of infrastructure, or partnership initiatives with other organisations to help ensure residents are ready for emergencies.

If our city was faced with another emergency, it would create further financial pressure that would need to be funded by ratepayers either through loans or our existing general rates budget.

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