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Draft Plan opens for consultation

Monday, 26 March 2012 2:50 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's draft Ten Year Plan for 2012 - 2022 will tomorrow open for consultation, and ratepayers are being urged to have their say on what it contains.

The draft Ten Year Plan 2012 - 2022 sets out the Regional Council's work priorities for the next decade as well as setting out how we will pay for that work.

Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said the draft plan contains a number of key issues that Council would like to hear feedback on.

"One of these proposals involves assisting changes to the way we use land to help improve the water quality of Lake Rotorua," Mr Cronin said. "Fixing Rotorua Lakes' water quality is a priority issue for us and our communities, and the draft plan includes a $45.5 million programme to work with landowners during the next eight years to change the way the land is used."

He said the region also had other historical environmental issues that required action.

"Two of these are Kopeopeo Canal, a contaminated site and Tauranga Harbour. Some of the work we're proposing to do is triggered by Central Government funding contributions being available now, and while it's expensive, we don't want to miss the opportunity to get it done, however we need to know what you think about it."

The draft Ten Year Plan 2012 - 2022 is open for submissions from tomorrow (Tuesday 27 March) until 4pm on Friday 27 April.

A copy of the draft Ten Year Plan and the summary document is avaiable at www.boprc.govt.nz/knowledge-centre/plans/ten-year-plan/ along with information about how people can make a submission. Alternatively people can call 0800 884 880 and request a copy.

Funding our work

In the draft Ten Year Plan 2012 - 2022, the Regional Council is proposing a rates increase. Two key factors are driving this proposal.

The first driver for this is the proposal by Council to collect a lower proportion of revenue through targeted rates for certain programmes.

This means that a larger proportion of the costs of some programmes (Rotorua Lakes, Passenger Transport and Rotorua Air) will be paid for by all ratepayers, rather than by specific communities.

This decision does not affect the total income we receive from rates. Overall, the changes have the effect of reducing the targeted rates for some rating areas and increasing general rates for ratepayers as a whole.

The second driver for these changes is that between the current Annual Plan year (2011/12) and the first year of the Draft Ten Year Plan, there has been a $3.1 million increase in operating expenditure. Areas with a notable increase are the:

  • Sustainable Land Use Programme (in the Sustainable Land Management Activity) - reflecting an additional focus on nutrient management on dairy farms and implementation projects around Tauranga Harbour;
  • Rotorua Lakes Programme (in the Sustainable Water Management Activity) - reflecting a focus on land use change in the Lake Rotorua catchment to enable levels of service to be met; and
  • Rivers, Drainage and Flood Management Activity - reflecting the flood damage repairs that need to be carried out to enable levels of service to be maintained.

There is not enough money available to Council to fund this work other than to get it through rates. For example, if we don't carry out our Rotorua Lakes work then we are at risk of not meeting the requirements to ensure we continue to get Central Government funding for restoration. Additionally, if we don't do flood repairs we are placing the livelihoods of many farmers and some communities at risk.

General rates by area based on average land value

Kawerau

2012/13

Average land value

$39,000

Total general rates

$92

Weekly cost

$1.80

Increase on last year*

$7

 

Opotiki

2012/13

Average land value

$121,000

Total general rates

$116

Weekly cost

$2.22

Increase on last year*

$10

 

Whakatane

2012/13

Average land value

$180,000

Total general rates

$131

Weekly cost

$2.50

Increase on last year*

$10

 

Rotorua

2012/13

Average land value

$82,000

Total general rates

$107

Weekly cost

$2.05

Increase on last year*

$14

 

Tauranga

2012/13

Average land value

$200,000

Total general rates

$138

Weekly cost

$2.65

Increase on last year*

$14

 

Western Bay

2012/13

Average land value

$310,000

Total general rates

$173

Weekly cost

$3.30

Increase on last year*

$29

* The increase on last year has been adjusted for the change in general rates and targeted rates proportions.

Ten Year Plan Draft Cover lowres