Long Term Plan 2021–31

Our Long Term Plan 2021–31 sets out what we plan to achieve over the next decade, and how it will be funded. Consultation has closed, hearings are in May and the final plan will be adopted in June.

Long Term Plan banner 900 350px

(external link)This budget is a turning point for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula and we’re investing in our future. We’re focusing on the basics and on doing it better – water, roads and transport – while keeping rates increases affordable. This comes at a time when we’re responding and adapting to climate change and COVID-19.

Read the Draft Long Term Plan 2021–31(external link) here. Consultation closed on Sunday 18 April 2021.

Read the full consultation document [PDF, 3.7 MB] or the Mayor's Proposal [PDF, 1.4 MB]. You can also get familiar with all the main issues on Newsline(external link).

COVID-19 has had a major impact on our finances. Like many households, we’ve made – and will continue to make – savings to our day-to-day spending. And with ongoing growth, we need the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time to support it.

We’ve thought about what you’ve told us is important to you – delivering the basics and doing it better – and what we need to do to continue making progress.

We’re proposing a $13.1 billion budget over 10 years. We’ve set our core spending on infrastructure(external link) and facilities(external link) at $1.26 billion for the first three years of our Long Term Plan, ensuring we can do all the work we want to deliver in the timeframe we’ve set. By locking this in, we’re giving certainty to the construction and other sectors, and stimulating economic activity. Read more(external link).

Day-to-day spending

We’re also spending $5.6 billion on day-to-day services the Council provides over the next 10 years. We’ve identified savings of $52 million to these operational costs – $18 million in this financial year alone, and additional savings of $34 million in 2021/22. Over the whole period of the Long Term Plan, we're proposing to save $329 million of operating costs.

Have we got the balance right? Have your say now(external link).

In the first three years of this Long Term Plan, we’re particularly focused on investing in our roads and water – two of the issues we hear about most from the community. We’re proposing to spend more on maintaining and improving the condition of our existing roads, footpaths and cycleways, and protecting and upgrading our water networks.


We’re proposing to invest $2.3 billion on protecting and upgrading our drinking water(external link), stormwater and wastewater networks. Read more(external link).

We’re also proposing to charge an excess water use targeted rate for households that use significantly more water than the average household. This charge would apply if a household used more than 700 litres a day – the average household uses 540 litres a day. Read more(external link).

Our roads and footpaths

We’re proposing investing $551.8 million in upgrading roads, footpaths and road infrastructure over the next 10 years. For the first three years of our Long Term Plan we propose to spend $18.3 million a year on road resurfacing – we’ll resurface a total of 5.3% of the city’s roads, up from the current 2%. This funding will increase to nearly $20 million a year from the fourth year. This means it will take 10 years to get streets back to a state that compares with the national average, rather than 20 years. Read more(external link).


We want to give people better and safer options for getting around, whether by car, public transport, on foot or on a bike or scooter. We’re proposing to invest $834 million on these improvements over the next 10 years. Read more on our proposals for cycling(external link) and public transport(external link).

What else we're building...

We propose spending $550.3 million, with a further $197.7 million coming from the Government, on new facilities over the next 10 years. This includes Te Pou Toetoe: Linwood Pool, the new Hornby facility, the Performing Arts Precinct, the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, Metro Sports Facility, and more.

Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor

Regenerating the 602-hectare Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a legacy that benefits future generations. We’re proposing investing $316 million in its regeneration, including the City to Sea Pathway, ecological restoration, cultural and recreational facilities, and the Pages Road bridge. Read more(external link).


Over the past decade, we’ve carried out a massive programme of repairs and restorations, but we still have some work left to do. In the next 10 years we’ll continue to restore our own buildings and support private development of heritage buildings. The $57 million we propose investing will go towards projects including the Old Municipal Chambers (former Our City O-Tautahi), Cuningham House in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and the Lancaster Park Memorial Gates. We’re also proposing to fund the base isolation of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, behind Canterbury Museum. Read more(external link).

Parks and foreshore

In the next 10 years we’ll maintain and improve our parks and foreshore. We propose spending $515 million on parks and $60 million on foreshore. A total of 39% of planned spending is on new developments and upgrades while most of the funding (61%) is on upgrading what we already have as it reaches the end of its life. Key projects include continuing the development of Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub, upgrading our sports fields, and reopening Lancaster Park for public use. Read more(external link).

Have we got the balance right? Have your say now.(external link)

Rates increase

We aim to keep rates rises as affordable and sustainable as possible. Your rates help us pay for all the services that keep our city running – for example, your water, your sewerage, your roads and your kerbside collection. We’re proposing a residential rates increase of 5% for an average-valued house ($508,608) for the 2021/22 financial year. This comes to an extra $142.25 a year or $2.74 a week. Over the 10 years, the average annual rates increase for all ratepayers will be 4%. The cumulative rates increase over the 10 years will be 47.8%. Read more(external link).

Changes to how we rate

We’re proposing some new targeted rates. These include an excess water charge(external link) for households that use significantly more water than the average, a heritage targeted rate(external link) to show more clearly the proportion of your rates that you already pay towards specific heritage projects, and a targeted rate to help towards the Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora’s restoration. We’re also proposing some changes to existing rates such as expanding our land drainage targeted rate to include all ratepayers, and changes to who’s eligible for rates remissions. Read more(external link).

Sharing costs

We’re proposing contributing $722.6 million to projects that are being delivered and/or partly funded by the Government and others: the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, Metro Sports Facility, the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor programme, and more. Read more(external link).

Fees and charges

We’re proposing to change some Council fees and charges. In most cases they’ll add less than a dollar or two to the amount paid, and reflect increased costs or inflation. Read more(external link).

Changes to our services

We’re proposing a few changes to the opening hours at our libraries and at Christchurch Art Gallery. We’ve looked at when they’re at their busiest and when we can reduce opening hours with minimal impact. We’re proposing to close the service desks at Akaroa and Lyttelton, which are no longer busy with more people new choosing to use our phone and online services. We’re also proposing closing the Riccarton Road Bus Lounges. Read more(external link).

Have we got the balance right? Have your say now.(external link)

Together we can reduce our emissions and prepare for the opportunities and challenges presented by climate change. A key focus of our Long Term Plan is reducing emissions by making changes to the way we travel, the waste we create and the energy we use. Read more(external link).

The Council has also developed a Draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Climate Change Strategy(external link), which is out for feedback until Sunday 25 April 2021.

Check out our new online search tool(external link)(external link). It’s your handy guide to the hundreds of projects we propose spending money on in the next 10 years. Search by the area you live in, the type of project, the project name or even just a key word. If you're using a laptop or desktop you will see each project as a bubble – the bigger the bubble, the bigger the cost.

The Council has a small number of properties, including two heritage buildings, that are no longer being used for the purpose they were originally acquired for. We want your feedback as part of this Draft Long Term Plan to help us decide the future of each property. Read more(external link).

You can also browse the full shortlist of properties and more information [PDF, 647 KB], and view an interactive map of the properties(external link).

Have we got the balance right? Have your say now(external link).

We're also consulting on some proposed changes to existing rates, and some new rates. You can find more information about these proposed changes in the consultation document(external link) and detailed background material [PDF, 537 KB].

Land drainage targeted rate

View a map(external link) showing which properties would be affected by the proposed land drainage targeted rate.

Have we got the balance right? Have your say now(external link).

Please note: Consultation closed on Sunday 18 April. hearings are scheduled to happen in May, and the final Long Term Plan 2021–31 will be adopted in June.

If you have any questions about the consultation process, please contact:


Public hearings will be held in May 2021. 

Submissions are public information

Subject to the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, we will make all submissions publicly available, including all contact details you provide on your submission. If you consider there are reasons why your contact details and/or submission should be kept confidential, please contact us by phoning (03) 941 8999 or 0800 800 169.