How Hutt City Council plans ahead

Our vision is to make Lower Hutt a city where everyone thrives. To do this, we need a plan to get there.

This vision comes together through three Council-wide plans we have to make regularly: the Long Term Plan (also known as the 10-Year Plan), an Annual Plan, and a District Plan. We also measure how well we’ve stuck to the Annual Plan each year in our Annual Report. These plans and reports follow the financial year, rather than calendar year, so they run from 1 July to 30 June.

Beyond our three key plans, there are four key strategies that support Council’s vision and focus on our work in priority areas. These are:

We also have a number of policies, strategies, and plans that focus on specific areas. You can find these on our website here

Long Term Plan & Annual Plan

Our Long Term Plan and Annual Plan work together in a series. The Long Term Plan sets out the vision for our city over the following decade, and outlines key projects and budgets for that period. The first year of the Long Term Plan also serves as the Annual Plan for that year.

We work closely with our communities when we develop the Long Term Plan, because it’s important to get it right. It needs to reflect their aspirations and priorities, and make sure we’re spending public money transparently and effectively.

In the two years following a Long Term Plan, we have an Annual Plan each year; you can think of them like chapters two and three of the Long Term Plan. The Annual Plan follows what was laid out in the Long Term Plan, and consultation with the community isn’t required if we stick to what we developed together in the Long Term Plan. If we do need to make changes, we have to give you an opportunity to have your say on those proposals.

Then, three years into the Long Term Plan, we take a look again at the decade ahead with a new Long Term Plan, and the cycle continues.

Annual Report

In our Long Term and Annual Plans, we set goals across our different work areas to make sure Council is always striving to perform better and best serve our community. In our Annual Report, we compare the goals we set with how we actually performed that year, and this document is then audited by the Office of the Auditor-General. We publish this report on our website, and usually distribute hard copies, too, so our community has oversight of our performance.

District Plan

The District Plan is a bit different to the other types of plans described here. While Long Term Plans and Annuals Plans focus on projects and budgets, the District Plan is more of a rulebook for land use and urban development. These rules cover things like residential development, subdivision of land, height and location of buildings, commercial and industrial developments, heritage, and noise.

The District Plan is very long, and it’s not presented in the same way as our other plans. The District Plan is hosted online, and the electronic version of the Plan is the official legal version.

The District Plan is reviewed continuously, and updates to the Plan can be initiated by Council or individuals. These updates might come about because of new information, or to respond to the changing needs and values of the community. We are legally required to fully review and update the District Plan every 10 years.

In a nutshell

You can think of our Long Term and Annual Plans as a bit like a to-do list for the decade or year ahead, along with a budget and other financial details. The District Plan is more like a rulebook that sets out what our city should look, feel, and sound like, and also helps us to meet our obligations under legislation like the Resource Management Act. Finally, our Annual Reports are a scorecard against our Annual Plan, where we measure our progress against the goals we set for ourselves for that year.