Northland Regional Council LTP Submissions

Help us secure funding for Surf Life Saving services in the Northland Region


As you may be aware, Northland Regional Council (NRC) has released its long-term plan (LTP) for consultation. The LTP is also known as the 10-year Budget. It sets out what the Council plans to achieve in the Northland region over the next 10 years, and how it will fund it. As part of the Budget, the NRC has proposed to halt funding emergency services and regional sporting facilities from June 2024. They would redirect this $2.7 million a year of funding to reduce rate rises, and deliver core work as proposed throughout the LTP. This would reduce any rates increase by 4.98% ($27.65 per annual rates bill).


This will significantly affect Surf Life Saving Northern Region’s ability to run the Paid Lifeguard Service (PLS) in Northland: NRC funds up to 90% of the PLS delivery across Northland. During the 2023-2024 patrol season, NRC funded the PLS to operate for 195 days across 6 locations – Far North (Ahipara) (4 weeks), Baylys Beach (4 weeks), Whangārei Heads (7 weeks), Ruakākā (8 weeks), Waipū Cove (8 weeks), and Mangawhai Heads (8 weeks).


If this funding was to be lost, SLSNR would be able to cover just 30 days of total patrol time across these 6 locations – or just a single week per location. Under the LTP, the cost to fund the emergency services facilities (including the PLS) would be an average of $11.40 extra per annual rates bill. Te Mahere Roa Long Term Plan 2024-2034 is currently open for consultation, and closes on Friday 19 April. This is when you can give your feedback on our proposals to help us make decisions for Northland in 2024-2034. We urge all surf lifesaving clubs in Northland to submit their feedback on the LTP to advocate for the inclusion of this funding.


On the following pages is a guide for how to submit your proposal. In addition to submitting on behalf of your club, you may wish to make a personal submission and encourage your membership to do the same. Thank you in advance for completing your submission. Together, we can ensure that our clubs have the resources they need to continue their vital work.


Ngā manaakitanga,


Zac Franich

General Manager

Surf Life Saving Northern Region


How to submit:



  1. Go to


  1. Click the link that says “Have your say” and click “Give your feedback now”.

  1. Enter your personal/organisational details and contact information:


  1. Go to the section, “Community resilience”.



  1. For the question “Climate resilience and emergency management – How can we best support the region?”, check the box: Our proposed option – Do this important mahi: Grow capacity to support climate policy development, zero carbon programme, delivery of climate resilience funding and natural hazards information. Develop early warning system for flooding for Te Taitokerau (largely funded by government funds). Add three emergency management roles from year 3 of this plan (2026) to meet increased needs.

6. Add supporting additional points using the following bullet points:


  • [Club] supports Northland Regional Council’s objective to grow capacity to support climate policy development, climate resilience, and natural hazards information, however funding for this policy development should not come at the expense of frontline services like surf lifeguards, which will be increasingly important in Northland’s adaptation response to climate change.
  • Northland’s expansive coastline is a naturally dynamic, shifting environment, and presents a significant natural hazard threat in the region. The impact of climate change will see an increase in coastal flooding and inundation, erosion, and extreme weather events.
  • Northlanders love spending time at our beautiful beaches – it’s what makes our region such a special place to live. During summer, our region’s coastal towns and beaches become crowded with visitors and holidaymakers. Unfortunately, as our beaches become more popular and coastal development increases, so to does the risk of drownings, which will be exacerbated by the impacts of climate change.
  • Removing critical services such as the Paid Lifeguard Service, or reducing its effectiveness by removing funding for emergency services facilities, undermines the significant risk to our communities from existing natural hazards.


  1. Go to the section, “Other decisions, User fees and charges, come and talk to us, and attachments”.


  1. For the question “Emergency services, sporting facilities – Should we stop our funding contribution to these activities?”, check the box: Another option: Continue our funding contribution to support emergency services at current levels of funding ($1.11M a year). Rate for an extra $1.11M to cover the growth in core business OR Another Option: Continue to rate for our funding contribution of $2.7M a year to support emergency services and regional sporting facilities.


  1. Add supporting additional points using the following bullet points. You may wish to add additional information that is specific to your club:


  • Any decision by the Northland Regional Council to stop funding contributions to emergency services in Northland would have dire consequences, potentially resulting in the loss of lives.
  • Annually, Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) receives between $220,000 and $230,000 from the Northland Regional Council, which accounts for 90% of its paid surf lifeguard programme’s funding. This financial support enables SLSNR to deploy surf lifeguards on weekdays, supplementing volunteer patrols and ensuring patrols even on holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Day.
  • Made up of qualified and experienced surf lifeguards, this service not only keeps beachgoers safe but also serves as a platform for development within Surf Life Saving clubs, enhancing community engagement and safety through local knowledge.
  • If SLSNR were to lose this vital funding, operations would be severely impacted. At its worst, only one week of paid lifeguard service would be able to be delivered across the region across six locations.
  • The significance of clubs like ours is evident in the statistics as the number of fatal drownings between July 2022 and June 2023 was below the ten-year average.
  • Already this season, surf lifeguards in the Northland Region have saved 33 people from drowning, and they’ve carried out 3,934 preventative actions.
  • SLSNR urges the Northland Regional Council to maintain it’s funding for emergency services so that we, alongside NEST, Hato Hone St John’s, Land SAR, Coastguard & Far North Radio & Sea Rescue can continue to make sure the public enjoy Northland’s coastlines and return home safely.
  • SLSNR also collaborates closely with Sport Northland and urges the Northland Regional Council to maintain its Regional Sporting Facilities fund.


  1. You may also wish to be heard in support of your feedback, either in person or online. If so, please check one of the below boxes.


  1. If you have any supporting information, you can upload it here:


  1. Once you are ready to do so, click “Save and Review”.

  1. Once you have reviewed your submission, click “Submit”.



Thanks you again in advance for your support. For further questions, please contact SLSNR GM Zac Franich (


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