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BAY OF PLENTY REGIONAL COUNCIL TOI MOANA

Consultation questions

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The following questions are areas of our work we need your feedback on.

With each question we've presented the situation, the issue wehave and some options for how we will deliver on it. Let us know what you think through the online submission form.

Riverworks

Topic one - Rivers and Drainage Flood Recovery Project

What approach should we take to managing the flood repairs from the April 2017 floods in the eastern Bay of Plenty?

Download as a pdf (138KB, pdf)

Background

Between 3 and 14 April 2017, the Bay of Plenty was impacted by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and Cyclone Cook. Severe rainfall hit the region hard and particularly the Whakatāne and Rangitāiki River catchments. The first storm event caused record high water flows in both rivers.

With the catchments already saturated from high rainfall in March 2017, the elevated river levels in the Rangitāiki River resulted in a breach in the floodwall at College Road in Edgecumbe. The flood waters damaged many properties and a Civil Defence emergency was declared for the Whakatāne district.

Residents in some eastern parts of the Bay are still feeling the impact of the April flooding. As part of the recovery work, cost estimates to repair damage to river systems have been completed. More than 500 sites across the region may need work and associated costs are estimated to be $33 million. We plan to deliver this work over the next three years.

The issue 

This consultation topic is about making sure we have the right input about affordability of rating approaches for these expensive but necessary repairs. Although we’ll borrow money to fund the required repairs, 80 percent of the costs will be met through targeted rates in the affected catchment areas (Rangitāiki, Whakatāne, Waioeka/Otara and, to a lesser extent, Kaituna). Targeted rates are used to pay for specific costs and can only be used for that purpose.

This means there will be a significant increase in rates to fund the repairs, especially for targeted ratepayers. The question is how quickly the repairs can be completed and whether the costs should be passed on to ratepayers as they arise, through large increases over the first two years of the Long Term Plan, or whether we should borrow money to spread the rate rises out over a longer period of time. We have budgeted for insurance to cover a proportion of the costs.

We plan to carry out the emergency repairs as soon as possible, resulting in a higher rates increase in years one and two and then smaller increases from year three. We’d like to hear your thoughts on this option.

 

Option 1
(our preferred option)

Option 2

Summary Carry out all identified repairs as soon as possible. Resulting in a higher rates increase in year one and two and then smaller increases from year three. Carry out all identified repairs as soon as possible, with rates increases spread out over a longer period (e.g. 10 years)
Level of service No impact to level of service No impact to level of service
Impact on ratepayers The estimated increase for ratepayers would be:
 

Targeted rates

Kaituna
2018/19: 5% per ratepayer
2019/20: 1% per ratepayer

Rangitāiki-Tarawera
2018/19: 26% per ratepayer
2019/20: 18% per ratepayer

Whakatāne-Tauranga
2018/19: 1% per ratepayer
2019/20: 36% per ratepayer

Waioeka-Otara
2018/19: 10% per ratepayer
2019/20: 29% per ratepayer

Targeted rates

Kaituna
Over the 10 years 2018-2028:
4% per ratepayer per year

Rangitāiki-Tarawera
Over the 10 years 2018-2028:
9% per ratepayer per year

Whakatāne-Tauranga
Over the 10 years 2018-2028:
5% per ratepayer per year

Waioeka-Otara
Over the 10 years 2018-2028:
6% per ratepayer per year 

 

General Rates

2018/19: 1.0% per ratepayer
2019/20: 1.5% per ratepayer 

General rates

Over the 10 years 2018-2028:
0.5% per ratepayer per year

Bus

Topic two - Public Transport

How do we fund increased bus services across the region?

Download as a pdf (311KB, pdf)

Background

We manage a regional bus network that includes the yellow and blue Bayhopper buses in the western and eastern Bay, and the green Cityride buses in Rotorua.
Providing a reliable public transport service that people from all walks of life can use is an important function of ours. This alternative mode of transport provides a vital transportation option and eases congestion and emissions in our main centres. This helps create a vibrant region and supports a healthy environment.
Over the past few years we have increased the extent and frequency of bus services across the region in response to population growth. Most recently we confirmed the Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint, which looked at public bus services in Tauranga and the western Bay. In parts of the western Bay, such as Te Puke, bus services will now run at a frequency similar to the city services.

The bus services are currently funded through a combination of central government support (mainly from the New Zealand Transport Agency), bus fares, general funds (which includes general rates and income from investments) and targeted rates, as shown in the pie chart. This mix of funding enables us to keep bus fares affordable for everyone. General funding reflects the benefits of public transport across the Bay. Targeted rates reflect the direct benefits to those living in the area where the service is available.

Public Transport Funding - Annual Plan 2017/18

Public Transport Funding Small

As well as fares and central government funding, the different bus services are funded differently. City bus services in Tauranga and Rotorua use a mix of general funds and targeted rates, while the western and eastern Bay services use only general funds. It was set up this way to ensure the cost of bus services was spread fairly across the community, with urban areas paying higher fares for services used more often and by more people than those in rural areas.

The issue

This consultation topic is about making sure the right people are funding the bus network.We want to change how we fund bus services, as we begin to deliver the increased service levels that have already been agreed to. What this means will depend on where you live, but for many it means more buses, more frequently, on improved routes.

This growth and improvement to bus services across the region, particularly in the western Bay, means we need to do things differently. We want to make the funding simpler, with clearer links to areas where a higher level of service is provided. This would mean using a higher proportion of targeted rates and reducing the amount that comes from general funds; this is consistent with how other regions fund bus services. We want to make sure we’re being clear and transparent about how the services are funded, strengthening the connection between people who use the bus services and those who fund them. Should the wider community continue to contribute to all bus services or should only those who benefit from the service contribute?

Our preferred option is to move to a full targeted rate for the Tauranga and western Bay, Rotorua, and eastern Bay bus services, and remove any general funding for them. That means these services will be funded through targeted rates in combination with central government funding and bus fares.

  Option 1 Option 2
(our preferred option)
Option 3
Summary Stay with the current funding mix as outlined in the pie chart Change funding of the Tauranga and Rotorua bus services to be fully funded through targeted rates, change funding of the western Bay and the Whakatane urban service from general funds to a targeted rate A staged introduction of option two, with contribution from general funding reduced in 2018/19 and then removed completely in 2019/20 for Tauranga, Rotorua, western Bay and Whakatane
Level of service This option does not directly impact the level of service. The level of service has increased or will increase as a result of other consultation, such as the recently confirmed Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint. This option does not directly impact the level of service. The level of service has increased or will increase as a result of other consultation, such as the recently confirmed Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint. This option does not directly impact the level of service. The level of service has increased or will increase as a result of other consultation, such as the recently confirmed Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint.
Impact on ratepayers

General funds contribution to public transport will increase by 4%, an average of $8 per median property.

Targeted rates will increase per property by $25 in Tauranga and $2 in Rotorua (including GST)

General funds contribution to public transport will fall to $14 per household/ratepayer. Targeted rates will increase in Tauranga, Rotorua, western Bay and eastern Bay – Whakatāne, with an increase per property of $82 in Tauranga, $27 in Rotorua, $13 in western Bay and Whakatāne $16 (including GST). In 2018/19, general funds contribution to public transport will decrease by 4% (an average $8 per median property) and the average targeted rate per property will increase, by $53 in Tauranga, $15 in Rotorua, $11 in the western Bay and by $12 in Whakatāne (including GST). In 2019/20, the general funds contribution to public transport will fall to nil for Tauranga, Rotorua, western Bay Whakatāne and the targeted rate per property will increase, by a further $44 in Tauranga, $14 in Rotorua, $7 in western Bay and $4 in Whakatāne (including GST).

Other consultation on transport

Tauranga City Council (TCC) is completing its 30 year Transportation plan and this will set out what infrastructure they will provide to support the new passenger transport blueprint. Tauranga City Council is expected to consult on this through its Long Term Plan. You may wish to provide a submission to them on this through its Long Term Plan consultation process which is expected to begin around 16 March. Further information is available at www.tauranga.govt.nz

 

Biosecurity

Topic three - Biosecurity

Are we putting the right level of effort into managing pests across the Bay of Plenty?

Download as a pdf (116KB, pdf)

Background

We manage biosecurity across the region by monitoring and managing pest plants and animals, and educating and advising landowners about how to manage pests. Pest management is a priority for us and there are a large number of pests we manage across the region including wallabies, catfish in Lake Rotoiti, alligator weed on the Rangitāiki Plains and woolly nightshade. We also support national initiatives through agreements with external agencies, including the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation, and help to manage new pest incursions to the Bay of Plenty, where they may threaten our environment and our economy.

Over the past few years our work has continued to focus on detecting and controlling low-incidence and contained pests rather than well-established pest species. This has led to good progress against some new incursions and species we are seeking to exclude or eradicate from the region. The majority of our work is carried out by implementing our Regional Pest Management Plan, which is prepared under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

The issue

This consultation topic is about making sure we put the right amount of effort into managing pests across the Bay of Plenty. We are currently reviewing our Regional Pest Management Plan and last year received feedback from the community, which supported us as the lead agency for pest management in the region. Many submitters also suggested additional pests we could manage.

There was strong agreement from the community for increasing effort on managing wallabies and continuing control of woolly nightshade. The full review process for the Regional Pest Management Plan is expected to be completed in mid-2018 and we are planning to increase the level of our investment in biosecurity based on the feedback we’ve already received. Through this Long Term Plan consultation process we’re now seeking the community’s views on what level of work we should be doing. Our planning in this Long Term Plan 2018-2028 is based on option two below, which would increase the overall budget for the Biosecurity activity by approximately $500,000 (to a total of approximately $4m in 2018/19), allowing us to manage new pests and for more comprehensive programmes to be carried out.

   Option 1 Option 2 
(our preferred option)
Option 3
Summary Maintain funding at current levels. This option would mean fewer pests are able to be managed and would change how some are managed. For example, it would extend the timeline for containing wallabies, noting that a delay would also add extra costs to achieving that outcome in future.

Increase resourcing to allow all programmes with a positive cost-benefit to proceed.

Same as Option 1, plus the following:

  • Research into improving surveillance, monitoring, and control programmes. 
  • Increased awareness, surveillance and control work for pests such as wallabies and alligator weed.  New programmes for pests such as marine pests, rough horsetail.

Increase resourcing to allow all programmes with a positive cost-benefit to proceed, plus extra services.


Same as Option 2, plus the following:

  • Containment of woolly nightshade and increased effort on pests such as wild kiwifruit and wild ginger
  • Sustained control of gorse in the Rotorua catchment
  • On-farm biosecurity advisory services
Level of service Maintain existing Increase Increase
Impact on ratepayers  No change Approximately $500,000 per annum additional expenditure, the equivalent of a 2.2% increase in general rates in 2018/19. Approximately $1,000,000 per annum additional expenditure, the equivalent of a 4.4% increase in general rates in 2018/19

 

 

Cdem

Topic four - Emergency Management

How should we fund region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services?

Download as a pdf (103KB, pdf)

Background

We are the administrating authority for the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group. This means we have a central role in co-ordinating and supporting Civil Defence Emergency Management for the Bay of Plenty together with the region’s six local councils. Our work in this area builds community resilience, helping the community prepare for, respond to and recover from extreme events that can endanger lives and cause widespread damage. We deliver region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services (through the Group Emergency Management Office) and are supported by local councils in their respective areas. The funding of region-wide services is split between us and the local councils. We provide approximately half the funding through our general funds, since the benefits are spread across the region, and we invoice local councils for the rest.

The issue

This consultation topic is about making sure our funding approach is transparent. The same service will be provided for both options. The funding of region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services is complex. Currently its delivery is funded through a mix of general rates set by us and contributions from the local councils. This arrangement doesn’t provide clarity or transparency for the community around what is spent on these services. To address this, we’re reviewing how we fund them.

A straightforward way to do this is to move to a targeted rate. Targeted rates are used to pay for specific costs and can only be used for that purpose. This does not change the amount people will pay through their rates for region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services, but it will be easier and provide greater visibility around expenditure to support civil defence; this will give everyone a better idea of how their rates are being spent.

  Option 1 Option 2
(our preferred option)
Summary Keep the current arrangement of funding through general funds. Change funding to a targeted rate for region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services.
Level of service No change to delivery of region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services. No change to the delivery of region-wide Civil Defence Emergency Management services.
Impact on ratepayers No change The amount charged to ratepayers will remain the same, but it will be listed as a specific line item on your rates invoice. The average rate for 2018/19 will be $21 including GST.

 

Regdevelopment

Topic five - Regional Development

Should we help fund infrastructure projects delivered by other organisations?

Download as a pdf (138KB, pdf)

Background

In the past, we have provided funding for infrastructure projects we would not normally be involved in. We have financially supported these projects because they provided economic benefits for the region and were in line with our daily work for the region. These included the Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation, Tauranga Tertiary Campus, Tauranga Marine Precinct and the Scion Innovation Centre in Rotorua, which are focused on economic development and aim to provide employment and education opportunities across the region. We have also contributed to other councils’ wastewater improvements in Te Puna West, Ongare Point and Lakes Rotomā and Rotoiti, because they supported environmentally focused outcomes. Without our support these projects may not have happened, or affected property owners would have faced a substantial rise in their rates.

The issue

This topic is about whether we should continue to provide this service and, if we continue, how to fund this. We do not have to fund any infrastructure projects that sit outside our line of work. However, our preferred option is to continue to support projects that benefit the community and support our goals (see our community outcomes). With this in mind, we have developed an Infrastructure Policy that outlines our funding request process. If we continue with this support, how do we fund these contributions?

We could use some of our reserve funds to fund projects. This means we would get less money from interest on those reserve funds, and the interest income forgone would have to be paid for through rates. We could share the increase in rates across the region or target the increase to the area that benefits from the project. In addition, we could also set new or higher rates to increase the amount of funding that is available.

Our preferred option is to use reserves that are specifically set aside for infrastructure funding, and to determine on a case by case basis whether to spread the cost of lost interest over the whole region or a specific area. For very expensive projects we will consult with the community before we make any decisions. Our Significance and Engagement Policy outlines what ‘very expensive’ means.

   Option 1
(Our preferred option)
Option 2  Option 3 
Summary Use some of our reserves to fund infrastructure projects outside our organisation. Using our reserves would result in interest income forgone. Use some of our reserves and take on debt to fund infrastructure projects outside our organisation. Using our reserves would result in interest income forgone and using debt would result in direct interest costs. No new funding for infrastructure projects outside our organisation.
Level of service In addition to the projects we have committed to funding, the impact on the level of service would vary based on which projects are approved. In addition to the projects we have committed to funding, the impact on the level of service would vary based on which projects are approved. Taking on debt would potentially allow us to fund more projects than option 1. No change to the level of service we currently provide. We continue to fund the projects we have already committed to.
Impact on ratepayers The impact of interest income foregone will be shared between ratepayers. This could be shared across the region or targeted to the area that benefits from the project. Where there is room in the budget, Council could set aside a limited amount of reserves for funding third party infrastructure from the Regional Fund. The impact of interest income foregone and interest expense on debt will be shared between ratepayers. This could be shared across the region or targeted to the area that benefits from the project, and additional rates to increase the amounts available would be spread over the region. Taking on debt will increase rates more than option 1. No impact on rates. Without our contribution, some district and city council rates and charges may have to increase to pay for infrastructure projects and some projects may not proceed.

 

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