Council adopts 2019/20 Annual Report

Environment Canterbury adopted the audited Annual Report for the last financial year, 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020, at the Council meeting on 22 October 2020.

The Report shows that 82 percent of the Levels of Service targets (results or actions agreed through the Long-Term Plan) were met.

COVID-19 had an impact on our ability to meet a number of Levels of Service in the 2019/20 year. Of the 74 Levels of Service targets, 61 were achieved, three were not measured due to COVID-19, and of the 10 not achieved, four were the result of COVID-19 impacts on our activities.

Towards the end of the 2019/20 financial year, the COVID-19 response changed our normal focus on the challenges of sustainably managing the environment.

We prioritised the delivery of essential services including emergency management, public transport, maritime navigation safety, incident/pollution response and flood protection. Much of our work was interrupted, with field services and community activities on hold.

Report highlights

The Annual Report notes a number of highlights in the year, such as:

Financial performance during the year

The year-end result shows we performed well against the 2019/20 Annual Plan, despite the unforeseen challenge of COVID-19, with a surplus before tax of $17.4 million (including a gain on forestry asset revaluation of $12 million).

Chair Jenny Hughey said this was an excellent result, particularly under the circumstances.

Excluding this revaluation gain, the operating surplus is $5.3 million compared to a budgeted deficit of $1.4 million, resulting in a variance to budget of $6.7 million. This is due to receiving $5.1 million more revenue and spending $1.6 million less than expected.

“The additional revenue came mostly from an increase in the capital value of the rating base and additional grant funding for the National Wilding Conifer programme. The lower expenditure was in Public Transport largely due to bus contract payments and the phasing of Employment Relations Act changes, and in Freshwater Management due to Plan Change 7 postponement and the Te Waihora programme experiencing delays due to COVID-19,” said Chair Hughey. 

There has been $2.5 million carried over into the current financial year (2020/21) for projects that were delayed mostly due to COVID-19.

Operational annual reports

In addition to our Annual Report for 2019/20, we have also recently published a series of operational annual reports, including: