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What else is a priority?

Increasing our investment in roading

Roads are a core service provided by Council. Despite significant ongoing expenditure and effort, community feedback indicates increasing dissatisfaction with the state of the roading network.

Several factors have contributed to the deteriorating condition of our roads including age of the roading network, increased traffic volumes, heavier commercial and farming vehicles, and insufficient investment over many years. Most roads were not originally constructed or designed to cope with this load, which means some sections need significant upgrading. Compounding these challenges are the increasing cost of road maintenance (such as materials and contract costs) and the impact of extreme weather events.

To address these concerns, we are proposing a substantial increase to our roading budget. Over the next three years, we plan to invest a total of $32M; an increase of 24% on year one to offset some of these rising costs and carry out routine maintenance and necessary upgrades. This will assist us to maintain our current level of service. This proposed budget increase will impact rates, accounting for around 4.2% of the overall proposed rate rise in 2024/25.

Roading investment

What about the second Ashburton River Bridge?

A new bridge over the Ashburton River bridge is expected to be built in the next three years. The new government have indicated this is a top priority and they plan to cover most of the construction costs. While this is yet to be formally confirmed, Council is confident that this funding and support will be finalised. In the Canterbury Regional Transport Plan, the bridge is the top priority.

Council have maintained $7.5 million in funding as we included in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan. The whole project, including connecting the bridge to existing roads, is expected to cost at least $113M (plus inflation). We have budgeted for construction to start in 2025/26 on the Chalmers Road route, east of the current State Highway 1 bridge.

Second bridge cost

Upgrading our water services infrastructure

Water services include providing drinking water, managing wastewater and handling stormwater, essential services you rely on daily.

The recent change in government has reversed previous proposals for the delivery of these services, keeping them under the control of Council. At this point, we are uncertain how this may change in future. In the meantime, Council will continue to upgrade these services:

  • Drinking Water

    We’ll progress complying with new drinking water standards through upgrading several existing water supplies, replacing ageing pipes and other infrastructure and reducing water wastage.

  • Wastewater

    We’ll focus on meeting compliance with resource consents, replacing old pipes and infrastructure and addressing wastewater sludge.

  • Stormwater

    Stormwater management improvements will be rolled out to improve the quality of stormwater entering waterways.

Developing and maintaining our parks

Numerous initiatives to progress the Ashburton Domain Development Plan are included in the plan.

This key district space will see new pathways installed, playground upgrades, trail development, waterway enhancements and lighting improvements. However, the proposed Walnut Avenue promenade, relocation of the main entrance and upgrade to the central hub have been dropped from this Long Term Plan.

Several projects are planned across other parks, reserves and sportsground across the district, including upgrading playgrounds, resealing pathways, replacing park bridges and improving signage. Carpark improvements are also planned for Argyle Park in Ashburton.

Upgrading our district's recreational facilities

Over the next decade, several key district facilities will undergo upgrades.

At the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum, a full refresh of the permanent museum display is planned, starting in 2029. For the EA Networks Centre, an internal reconfiguration is planned to improve the use of the building (with the possible inclusion of a multiuse studio). An upgrade to the EA Networks Centre roading entrance is also planned, along with ongoing expenditure to maintain and enhance the facility.

We have 16 reserve boards and four memorial hall boards overseeing a number of important community facilities throughout the district (including recreation reserves and domains, community and memorial halls). Over the next 10 years we will focus on ensuring we understand the usage and patronage of these facilities and establish regular maintenance schedules and plans.

This will support current and future volunteers to prioritise upgrades and projects. This includes the Rakaia Memorial Hall earthquake strengthening project, which is currently being scoped and investigated, with the goal of having a proposal to discuss with the community in 2024/25.

What else are we planning over the next 10 years?

What hasn't been included?

Equally as hard as choosing what to prioritise is choosing what isn’t a priority right now.

Projects we’re not planning in the next 10 years:

  • Ashburton Domain projects – including the new entrance way, northern side promenade, and Central Hub
  • Development of the northern sports fields at Argyle Park
  • Upgrade to Balmoral Hall
  • Ashburton Resource Recovery Park re-use shop re-build
  • Methven Transfer Station redevelopment
  • Online reporting system for monitoring Council performance
  • Community booking system for community facilities and spaces

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Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about a project, contact us below:

Phone 03-307 7700
In writing

2 Baring Square East, Ashburton 7700