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Christchurch City Council today adopted its Annual Report 2012, outlining the Council’s activities and finances over the past year.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says this year’s Annual Report shows how the last 12 months have seen unprecedented levels of activity across Christchurch as we fix what is damaged and make the most of new opportunities.
“It has been a challenging period for Christchurch but we are now beginning to move into an exciting time for our city as we lay the foundations for our future.”
Highlights include seeing the bold vision in the Government’s blueprint for a green, low-rise central city was based on our own Central City Plan, developed following the “share an idea” community process last year.
Work is underway on a series of suburban centre master plans to support recovery in centres badly affected by the earthquakes. The Council has completed master plans for Lyttelton, Sydenham, Selwyn Street Shops and Linwood Village, and work is ongoing for Sumner Village Centre, Ferry Road, Edgeware and New Brighton.
A programme looking at the future of the 1,600 Council-owned buildings now has a priority list. Work is now underway on some repairs, while other buildings remain under investigation.
Council General Manager Corporate Services Paul Anderson says projects and services remain affected by the earthquakes, with many resources still turned from business-as-usual projects to recovery and rebuild efforts.
“Because of the extent of damage and the nature of Council assets, many of which are underground, work is still ongoing to prepare an accurate assessment of the value of the damage to city infrastructure and other assets. Our best estimate is that our assets, historically valued at approximately $5.5 billion, have suffered at least $1.5 billion of damage.”
“We believe that basing our accounts on estimates would be misleading so we have chosen not to reflect the value of earthquake damage in our 2012 financial statements. This means Audit New Zealand has issued a disclaimer of opinion on this aspect of our Annual Report, as it did in 2011.
“While it’s not a common occurrence, it’s a result that realistically reflects our situation and will not have any impact on general Council business or the rebuild of the city.”
“What ratepayers and residents can take assurance from is the Audit New Zealand finding that, apart from issues concerning the condition and valuation of assets, the Council continues to comply with generally accepted accounting practice.”
Mr Anderson says everyone involved, including the financial institutions the Council deals with regularly, is comfortable with how we have disclosed our damage estimate in the Annual Report.
The Council had an accounting surplus of $188 million for the 2011/12 financial year, compared with a planned accounting surplus of $277 million. If the accounting surplus is adjusted to remove the effect of the earthquake and non-operating income the result is an operating deficit of $16 million compared with the planned deficit of $25 million. The Council planned for this deficit, which is funded by a five-year Special Earthquake Rates Charge of 1.82 per cent.
The Christchurch City Council Annual Report 2012 will be published on or before 23 November 2012. It will be available online and from Council service centres and libraries.
Success by numbers - highlights from the Annual Report: