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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Economic development: Upper Hutt's draft annual plan 2014-15

Consultation on UHC's Draft Annual Plan is now open.
Details of Upper Hutt's draft annual plan for 2014-15 have been released. The plan is much anticipated because of the debate around amalgamation of councils, and recent reports showing Upper Hutt is lagging behind the rest of the country in the economic recovery. The Upper Hutt Leader has a run-down:
  • $2.3m fund to attract new investment funded from debt (which will only need too be drawn down as required);
  • $500k economic stimulus package, generated from a $36 levy per household;
  • First two years of rates waived for new investments (minimum of $20m invested and/or 75 employees);
  • 3.44% increase in rates (a very modest increase);
A lot of new spending will be funded through land sales of surplus land.

The big question, reading between the lines of the Leader's article, is where central government fits into the economic development picture. As I've pointed out here, there's big opportunities (especially in IT) for more investment to come into Upper Hutt thanks to the Ultra-Fast Broadband roll-out. There's plenty more that central government could do though - especially in transport and tertiary training.