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THE Local Government Commission has confirmed the proposed boundary change between Manawatu District and Palmerston North.
Manawatu District Council and Palmerston North City Council are pleased with the announcement with both councils having made submissions supporting the change.
Commissioner Anne Carter, in releasing the decision at the MDC on Tuesday, said that the draft reorganisation be adopted subject to one small variation relating to liability for building consents.
Manawatu District Mayor Margaret Kouvelis believed the outcome could accelerate the attraction of new businesses and residents to the region and the district would continue to thrive and grow alongside a stronger city.
“The outcome undoubtedly means increased economic growth,” she said, “and enable more industrial growth around Palmerston North International Airport and better management of the strategic rural ring road.”
Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor said the boundary change would have far-reaching benefits for both councils.
“The reorganisation of boundaries between the city and district will mean we can plan and develop more efficiently, which will lead to more jobs and economic growth.”
Mrs Kouvelis said the impact of 1100 rateable properties shifting to the city amounted to a loss of $1.7 million; however, this would be offset by $900,000 in spending that would not be required in the transferred area.
“The balance of $800,000 will be covered by compensation from the city.”
Mrs Kouvelis said the transitional income from the city would be spread over 14 years, which would involve the district budgeting for $57,000 a year to be recovered through efficiencies, user pay charges and district growth.
It is expected that the boundary changes will bring a wide range of new jobs to both the city and wider region, including the tourism industry.
In all 755 households and 2400 residents are affected by the boundary change and Mr Naylor is excited at the prospect of welcoming them to the city.
“I hope we can make them feel welcome and a valued part of our community.”
He said the changes would allow the city to increase its economic growth while providing increased benefits to the wider region.
“We are the distribution hub for the lower North Island and now have the ability to offer new businesses great opportunities if they relocate here,” said Mr Naylor.
“Changing the boundary means we can provide the industrial land for development and provide the infrastructure such as roads to support growth.”
The boundary change will come into effect on July 1.
Until then, residents in the boundary change zones should continue to refer to the Manawatu District Council for assistance.
In June, information packs will be sent to all properties within the boundary change areas welcoming them to Palmerston North City Council.