Marlborough Long Term Plan 2018

Submission on Marlborough Long Term Plan 2018-2028

On behalf of Port Underwood Association

PO Box 59, Blenheim 7240

This submission is made on behalf of The Port Underwood Association Incorporated (the Association) membership of which is open to persons having a meaningful interest in Port Underwood.

The Association is charged with representing the members’ views which are gathered through meetings, emails, personal discussions and surveys, and to act on their behalf in matters which affect the area.


  • The Port Underwood Association realizes that effective governance requires money to operate and provide on-going benefits to its citizens. A rating system is an effective way of doing this. We also realize that many basic core functions of the Marlborough District Council benefit all of Marlborough including ratepayers in Port Underwood. However in reviewing this Long Term Plan we do not see many listed activities where we are direct beneficiaries.
  • We submit that a level of service and performance measures for unsealed roads needs to be included in the Road Infrastructure Plan.
  • We submit that if the system of distributing rates allocations is to change then the new system needs to be transparent and analysed with well-reasoned discussions as to how the new distribution is derived.


Discussion on Consultation Document

Part one – Investing in Infrastructure

Very few of these activities pertain to the Port Underwood area except renewal of roads and bridges and resilience to climate change. In the budgeting papers the main discussion regarding unsealed roads is about the increased costs of gravel. There is no mention of increased services and overall improvement in the condition of the existing unsealed roads.

The Port Underwood Association acknowledges that a key tool for management of the road network is the Road Infrastructure Activity Management Plan (AMP) which determines levels of service to be provided out to 2025. While there are detailed levels of service and performance measures for the 917km of sealed roads, there is an absence of any corresponding levels of service and performance measures for the 630kms of unsealed roads within the AMP.

It is noted that the (Draft) Marlborough Regional Land Transport Plan 2015-2021 and Statement of Proposal Mid Term Review provides costings for maintenance operations and renewal activities (proposed) at Table 7. Included in this is a budget to undertake unsealed road maintenance.

While acknowledging the planned forecast of expenditure for unsealed roads, the Port Underwood Association is concerned that without prescribed levels of service and performance measures, effectiveness cannot be measured and the ability to maintain an expected level of quality on our roads will be hampered.

Utilising ONRC guidelines, without performance measures the Association questions the ability to demonstrate the robustness of the overall maintenance programme, robustness of individual treatments, and the ability to determine the delivery of planned works against an agreed level of service.

We therefore submit that levels of service and performance measures for unsealed roads must be included in the Marlborough Long Term Plan 2018-2028.

Part two – Investing in the Environment

While the Port Underwood Association supports increased environmental studies and actions based on those studies, to date there has been very little environmental study by MDC in the Port Underwood area and none of the proposed environmental projects in this plan include the Port Underwood area.

Part three – Investing in the Economy

Option 1 – None of these proposals are aimed at or will benefit Port Underwood.

Part four – Investing in other projects

None of these projects are aimed directly at Port Underwood and we do not see any analysis of the level of benefits that will be received by our area.

Part six – Emergency events

We do not have a collective opinion on this subject.

Part seven – Moving to a fairer rating system

We agree that the older capped system of rate distribution needs to be updated. However a new system must have credible analysis of the weightings for various sectors. For example, we do not support a significant reduction in the weighting for the commercial/industrial sector, who will be the direct beneficiaries, for the Economic Development spending which will require an increased contribution from the rural/residential sector. The “benefit flow down effect” theory that presumably this change is based on is not well proved nor has been studied in this case.

In Port Underwood, the major commercial industries can be seen as extractive activities. They remove resources from the area, not enhance resources, while using human resources mainly based in other areas rather than locally. As a result of some of these activities we find a decrease in amenity values rather than an enhancement and therefore it is hard to reason why the average Port Underwood ratepayer should be paying more (and direct beneficiaries less) for economic development which can be detrimental rather than beneficial.

We do not view economic development funding as wrong but feel the financial costs should be assigned to the direct beneficiaries of those activities.