Not that sexy

Loads of stuff the council does – and is required to do – is not that sexy! Roads, sewerage, footpaths and water pipes are not that interesting or exciting but are all things we have to spend your ratepayer money on. In fact a large portion of your rates go on these things – keeping them maintained, replacing them when needed, doing repairs and so forth.

Its quite hard for us as a council to get people excited about these types of things. Most people just want them in good working order and only take a bit of notice when something goes wrong.

The Long Term Plan (LTP) happens every three years and is the council’s ten year plan for major spending. Our LTP is currently open for feedback (but it closes on Monday 25th!). All of those things mentioned above are in the LTP. But there are also a few other things. Things that are more likely to get people’s blood boiling.

One of those things is closing 25 playgrounds in the city. And another is the extension to Splash Palace. And of course the rise in the cost of rates always has an impact especially when it is set to go up every year.

Under the new legislation the council is now required to just highlight to its community the big changes it is making to its plans going forward. You can check out the ICC Consultation document on the ICC website –

But if you are keen for a quick overview you should check out this you tube clip which explains some of the big issues.

And one very important thing to remember is that if you have something else that is important to you – you can tell us about that too.

So please check out these things – have your say. And if you have any questions please ask – I am only too happy to help.

10 thoughts on “Not that sexy

  1. The council adding a fitness centre to splash palace to fund the extension to the pool is the wrong way. We have the ymca, snap fitness Olympic weight lifting etc rugby park that we now own has a gym… these a businesses that need support now. The icc will be diluting the income of these businesses. Sometimes we have to not do something to increase the wealth for the whole community.
    Allen Dennis has said publicly that the icc owning rugby park it has to make a profit… icc needs to get on with this venture first.
    invercargill breweries off-license fees have gone up 400%. We’ve had one incident in 16 years with our license to be penalized to fund more beauocracy is heart renching. What the icc doing to increase the numbers of tourists to offset the increase?
    Steve Nally


    • Hi Steve, thanks for your comments. Its good to get a range of opinions on things like the Splash Palace extension. And you raise a very good point about the wealth of the community.
      Thanks also for your information about the increase in your off license fees. I know that all licensees have experienced a very large increase after many years of the fees being at a set rate set by government legislation. The council is in its first year under the new law and will be looking at the costs involved in the administration at the end of the year to ensure the service we are required to provide is being done in the most effective way possible and that includes financially. In terms of tourism the ICC has put an expectation on Venture Southland to improve the promotion of Invercargill as part of its tourism focus and I am sure throughout the new year we will see some changes being made there.


  2. We have an aging population the young people are leaving and we have increasing costs. If the icc couldnt lift rates how would they address this?


    • And this would be the million dollar question I think.

      The reality is all councils will be facing this situation in the coming years. It has been pointed out to me that all of the infrastructure we now have was all financed through central government not local government, but it is local government’s responsibility to maintain and replace and improve as populations grow and change.

      I think we have to start asking ourselves some hard questions – do we need roads and footpaths to be at the high standard we currently have for example? Are there ways of doing things that require less investment from local government and with more responsibility going back to the community? Are there things we just need to change our thinking on? Do we need to build stronger partnerships with our community to address some of these issues? How can we be an innovative and vibrant city that attracts young people and families without spending extravagant amounts of money on things that are ‘nice to haves’? What do we really want Invercargill to look like in 20 or 30 years time?

      So many questions to ask and talk about and then we can start figuring out where to from here?


  3. From the outside looking in… the new fee structure for licensees is about cash nothing else. I know of a cafe that has a on license with the new fee structure the profit they make from alcohol sales now goes to paying the council fees.
    gore council has a different fee structure. Lakes district hasn’t taken on a LAP and is consulting if they need one. Southland and icc didn’t consult with the public if we wanted an LAP.
    it’s supposed to be about the reduction in harm not cash. We are a off license and we pay the same as a bar…. you are saying g we are responsible for people’s drinking at home?
    The icc will show us in a years time this is what it costs to admin the LAP therefore justifying the fees. What was the cost? And if all three councils are supposed to be working together shouldn’t there be economy of scale?
    we’re getting hit by renewal every three years and an annual fee? It took 4 months to renew our license..?
    some people have been waiting a year?
    There are a lot of pissed-off license holders.
    it’s the same fee structure as Auckland?


    • Thanks Steve. We had several good submissions to the LTP on this issue and it is being looked at further. What I can tell you from a council perspective is that the expenditure required in this financial year to administer the alcohol licensing is less than in previous years.
      And the law change has allowed for councils to have alcohol licensing as 100% cost recovery. Previously this expenditure was subsidised by ratepayers at a cost of about $140k per year. This puts it in line with many other regulatory services such as resource consent and building consent.
      This has meant a huge leap in costs for licensees after about 20years of unchanged charges.
      I am not sure if what we are charging is the same as Auckland but the councillors are looking into it.


  4. The icc has known about the cost of infrastructure for a long time and it should ofo had a plan decades ago… should see this coming.
    how does the icc measure vibrancy?


    • Sure Steve. Infrastructure is constantly being repaired and maintained by the council and the LTP is all about thinking forward to see what needs to be done. The LTP has only been around since the LGA 2002 came out though and I am not sure what councils used to guide their actions prior to the time. And then things that are unexpected pop up like the water pipe situation we currently have – these were meant to last another 10-15 years according to the manufacturer at the time – in the 1950s or 1960s I think.

      As to vibrancy as far as I am aware the council does not have a measure for this. Good idea though – and something we should put on the agenda.


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