Queenstown Lakes ratepayers are staring down the barrel of a 15.5% rates increase for 2025, according to minutes from a recent council

A powerpoint presentation to the long-term plan steering group sought feedback on two options to integrate $1.052 million Three Waters
projects into years 3 to 10 of the draft long-term plan’s capital programme.

The first option incorporated an ‘‘upfront developer contribution’’ of 35% of gross growth servicing costs, which equates to $88m spread across years 4 to 7.

Option 2 was based on the capital programme being funded under the current rates and development contributions model — that meant Three Waters growth servicing capital expenditure of $251.7m, comprising $101.8m for Ladies Mile and $149.9m for the southern corridor (inflated), would be funded under existing models.

The recommendation is for council to go with the first option, which means ‘‘no physical work would commence in either Ladies Mile or [the]
southern corridor without at least a 35% deposit to be paid by developers’’.

‘‘We will continue to pursue alternative funding to deliver projects within the capital programme,’’ the presentation notes.

‘‘We anticipate the government making new tools available (e.g. City Deals); we will work with the relevant central government agencies to
explore new and existing financing tools.

‘‘Ladies Mile is a good candidate for IFF [Infrastructure Funding and Financing Model] which would have the effect of taking $100m debt off the council’s balance sheet but would still result in (targeted) cost increases for the community.’’

Assuming option one, the average rates increase after growth over the life of the 10-year plan will be 11.4%.

That peaks in 2025, with a 15.5% hike — following a 14.5% increase this year.

It’s forecast to drop to 12.5% in 2026, then increase to 14.9% in 2027, with subsequent increases of 12.4% and 12.9% in 2028 and ’29, respectively.

The draft long-term plan’s expected to go out for community consultation this month.

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