Growing Hamilton

Finance Committee wrap up – 9 April 2019

Finance Committee Meeting | Hamilton City Council

Every six weeks the Hamilton City Council’s Finance Committee meets to monitor the organisation’s finances and to check it is on track with the spending outlined in its 10-Year Plan.

The April meeting dealt with a range of businesses involving the Council’s finances, spending and investments.

The Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) produced its six-monthly report and Statement of Intent. The LGFA is owned by New Zealand councils and allows shareholding councils to access funds at low-interest rates and over longer periods. In its report, the agency signalled there is an increase in forecasted local government loans as Councils implement their 10-Year Plans and respond to growth.

The Council’s 10-Year Plan, as reported on by Chris Allen General Manager Development, forecasts $772M of investment in capital works from 2018-21—a significant increase from the $220M for the same 3 year period in the previous 10-Year Plan (2015-18).

Capital works include planning for Peacockes, Rotokauri growth cells and the Rototuna Village as well as smaller projects like the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park and road upgrades.

Mr Allen says Hamilton is buzzing and the Council is working hard to manage growth.

“Hamilton is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, with a total investment of $2B over the next 10 years in the city’s biggest ever capital programme, and we are planning well for new infrastructure while continuing to upgrade and maintain our existing assets,” Allen says.

The Annual Monitoring Report showed a current surplus of $43.8M. Rates, fees and charges and interest all generated greater than expected results contributing to the overall financial surplus along with changes in timings to some capital programmes. From a Balancing the Books perspective, the Council is currently forecasting to breakeven by the end of the financial year.

Waikato Local Authority Shared Services (WLASS) presented its half-yearly report and Statement of Intent 2019/20. WLASS was established as a Council Controlled Organisation in 2005 to enable councils to collaborate and deliver shared services, its previous achievements are outlined in the Collaboration in Action report.

The Statement of Intent 2019/20 outlined the decision to transform the company, including implementing a new operating model comprising of a full-time chief executive, an independent chair and reducing the number on the board to six.

Accessible Properties Ltd, which purchased the Council’s Pensioner Housing Portfolio on 7 March 2016, has paid the final balance of the $23M sale. The company is now required to report to the Community, Services and Environment Committee on the use of the properties every six months for the next 7 years.

The committee also received financial reports from Civic Assurance Limited, Food Waikato Ltd and Waikato Regional Airport Limited, in which the Council has a financial stake. View these reports in the Committee agenda.

Draft resolutions for the meeting will be available online today (10 April).

The next Finance Committee meeting is on 23 May 2019, 9.30am. All Council Committee meetings are open to the public, can be live streamed at www.hamilton.govt.nz or viewed at Youtube.com/HamiltonCityCouncil.

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