Referendum ’08 is your opportunity to have a real influence upon both our council and our community. We are seeking your assistance in deciding which of the following projects should be the council’s priority over the next few years.

Three years ago, council asked a similar question of the community after the controversy over the Sarjeant Art Gallery extension. The result of ‘Referendum ’05’ was that Wanganui people (not council nor lobby groups) decided how their ratepayer monies were best spent.

The results have been spectacular. A fantastic new Splash Centre, the award-winning riverfront walkway, upgraded footpaths and a revitalised Wanganui Airport.

This year, council unanimously adopted a ‘family-friendly’ philosophy – with the aim of boosting Wanganui’s population and visitor numbers – and improving the quality of life of our own residents. A growing Wanganui will mean better services and lower rates.

What happens after the referendum?

Once your choices are known, council will feed those results into the draft Ten Year Plan 2009-19. This is an important document that outlines the council’s strategy, work programme and finances for the next decade.

Council will publish that Ten Year Plan in March 2009 and we will again seek your submissions and input. Then we will make the final decisions in June 2009.

It is important to remember that the referendum projects will not be started until the finances and funding are in place. Some of the projects will attract substantial funding and/or subsidy from outside sources.

Key financial information for all projects

Many of the project options have considerable potential subsidies or likely external funding, should the council choose to proceed with them. The following assumptions have been made in costing the projects:

  • Costs have been inflated for a possible start in the year 2010
  • Project costs are indicative only. Best estimates have been used
  • External fund-raising and subsidies will only be sought if the council opts for the capital project(s) given your priority
  • There is no cost included for additional parking required for the events centre/velodrome and library redevelopment options
  • The cost-per-ratepayer calculations are based upon council borrowing the funding required for the project and paying back both the capital and interest over a 25 year period

The results of Referendum ’08 are not binding upon the council, but will guide its deliberations in constructing its draft Ten Year Plan 2009-19.

One person, one vote

All Wanganui ratepayers and residents who are on the electoral roll can vote in the referendum. Voting papers for the referendum will be delivered to your letterbox from 14 November 2008. You will be asked to rank your top three projects (1, 2, 3) and then return your voting paper to us in the envelope provided. If you spoil your voting paper and need a replacement, contact Customer Services on 349 0001, or email Please note that photocopies will not be accepted.

Voting closes at 12 noon, Saturday, 6 December 2008


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