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In his report to the council meeting, Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said people were living in times of considerable financial stress.
The council had responded to the economic challenge by putting together a 10-year plan which brought rate increases to a more sustainable level.
"At 3.6% average increase for next year, we have attained the balance between projects and prudent financial management," Mr Familton said.
He congratulated those who made submissions, the council and management on the direction which had been set for the future.
Audit director John Mackie, who joined the meeting through video conference, issued a clear audit opinion on the community plan. He was happy with the consultation process the council had followed.
A notice of motion from Cr Helen Stead recommending the council review the public process for the 2006-16 long-term council community plan, and the 2009-19 long-term council community plan, in respect of matters relating to commercial, endowment and leasehold properties, failed to gain any support.
Cr Stead said the issue was the most important the council had to consider in the last five years. Cr Peter Garvan said the process had been robust.