New fees and charges approved for community facilities

QT Event Centre WEB 12
Date:
Dec 17, 2018

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has approved changes to a range of community services fees and charges following a review of its Community Facilities Funding Policy (CFFP).

The CFFP covers fees and charges for Council’s community facilities, grounds and reserves in addition to fees for leases and licences. Leases and licences were excluded from this first review of the policy since 2011.

In addition, QLDC’s Parks and Reserves and Sport and Recreation teams undertook a parallel review of cemetery and aquatic facility pricing.

Thunes Cloete, QLDC general manager community services, said the changes are based around the existing policy principles of affordability, fairness, consistency, transparency and accountability and being community/customer centric.

“I believe we have struck a fair balance between reflecting national benchmarks for hire fees and the specific requirements of our district’s communities. The emphasis has been on future-proofing these key community services during a period of rapid population growth,” he said.

“I acknowledge there have been increases in some areas. This should be expected given the time since the last adjustments and the level of investment required to maintain and improve levels of service such as last week’s opening of the new Shotover Cemetery. I believe the new fees and charges make things much clearer and fairer overall.”

“For example, there are no increases to children’s casual swim prices or memberships. The same approach has been taken for cemetery fees, and baby and children’s burials and ash internments have also been kept well below nationally benchmarked levels,” said Dr Cloete.

In changes approved at last Thursday’s Council meeting, the CFFP was updated with the introduction of peak and off-peak rates and three different pricing tiers – community, standard (private hires) and commercial with small businesses charged at the community rate.

Seasonal club rates have been determined by hourly usage rather than one flat rate for all. Parks and reserves are now categorised by premium, gold and silver standards based around levels of service and facilities available at each location. Peak and off peak rates now also apply.

Fee changes for swimming and other services at Council aquatic facilities are focused on some increases to adult casual prices with minimal changes for children, seniors and beneficiaries. The new aquatic facility at Wanaka Recreation Centre is excluded from these latest changes given prices were increased when it opened in June 2018 to match the current pricing at Frankton’s Alpine Aqualand.

An increase in QLDC Swim School pricing from $10.50 to $11.50 per lesson will be introduced at Alpine Aqualand from Term 2 2019. There will be no changes to QLDC Swim School lessons at Wanaka Recreation Centre pending the outcome of the Expression of Interest process for learn-to-swim services due to begin in early 2019, or until the beginning of the 2019/20 financial year.

The main cemetery pricing changes include a simpler fee structure and price list, and the inclusion of maintenance fees with internment fees.

The changes to venues and cemetery pricing come into effect on 1 January 2019. The increases to aquatic facility pricing will be notified to members before Christmas and be applied from 1 March 2019 to allow for the two-month notice period in members’ contracts.

The Council’s Community and Services Committee gave approval for community consultation on changes in August 2018. Consultation, including discussions with several local groups, took place for four weeks from 31 August to 28 September and a hearing of submissions took place on 23 November.

ENDS

For further information please contact the QLDC Communications team via communications@qldc.govt.nz or call 03 441 1802.

The updated Community Facility Funding Policy will be loaded to the policies page of the Council website this week.