MEDIA RELEASE: SWDC releases Annual Report for 2019/2020

12 January 2021

South Wairarapa District Council’s Annual Report for the past financial year, 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, was adopted by Council on Thursday, 17 December and is now available on the Council website. The Annual Report provides an extensive overview of financial statements, a review of significant events and updates on key council projects.

The new Council took office in October 2019, with Alex Beijen as Mayor and Harry Wilson starting as the new Chief Executive a few months earlier, in June. The past year has been one of change and challenge and officers worked hard to ensure levels of service were maintained despite the operational challenges caused by Covid-19.

Many key Council projects during the year were water-related, aimed at improving water quality and upgrading infrastructure for future resilience. Significant events included becoming a part-owner of Wellington Water and its review to reveal the critical work needed to deliver clean, clear, safe and secure drinking water to the towns.

The Featherston wastewater treatment plant upgrade was, and still is, a high priority project for the Council. Following community engagement, in March 2020 Council voted for a complete reset on the resource consent application to dispose of wastewater by irrigation to land. Instead, a more sustainable, environmentally and culturally acceptable solution, based on modern technology, is being sought.

Also during the year, district-wide spatial planning engagement was initiated, and all feedback is being considered to set the blueprint for the next thirty years while balancing environmental, social, economic needs.

Council developed and adopted the Ruamāhanga Climate Change Strategy in March, joint with Carterton District Council to reduce Green House Gas emissions. The Wairarapa Region Positive Ageing Strategy was adopted in May, developed by three Wairarapa councils.

Chief Executive Harry Wilson says despite the challenging year, Council remains in a stable financial position.

“Overall, the financial results are pleasing. A surplus was achieved, due to increased development and revaluation of assets.

“Due to unexpected costs related to three waters projects, operational expenditure surpassed budget, however, the work is necessary to ensure drinking supply networks and wastewater systems are sustainable and effective long term,” says Mr Wilson.

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen looks forward to welcoming a new year and advocating for positive change for the residents of South Wairarapa.

“It has been a difficult year for the whole of New Zealand, but I am extremely proud of the way our communities united to look after one another through such a challenging time.

“I look forward to working with fellow elected members and council officers to deliver the Long Term and Spatial Plans, giving priority to doing what is needed to strengthen our infrastructure for current and future generations,” says Mayor Alex Beijen.

The Annual Report summary document is available here and the Annual Report is available here.

ENDS

Media contact
Amy Wharram
027 252 2863

South Wairarapa District Council