Environmental protection is one of five outcomes that guide the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s work, and chief executive Mary-Anne Macleod says it’s a priority.
“The community has asked for more work to be done to enhance and protect the environment. We will continue and expand on our efforts to deliver the work the community has asked for.”
The highest proportion (32 percent) of the council’s annual budget has been allocated to protect the environment while balancing economic growth and safety.
Environmental protection work over the coming year will focus on air quality, biosecurity, pollution prevention, maritime services as well as:
- continuing the Kopeopeo Canal remediation project, reducing health risks to the community with dioxin exposure, improving the quality of aquatic habitat within the canal and wider drainage network and facilitating future drainage and flood relief within the Rangitāiki Drainage Scheme
- part-funding the sewerage scheme in Te Puna
- continuing to provide interest-free loans to enable Rotorua families to replace their old fireplaces with new, cleaner heating, to reach air quality targets
- drafting and notifying a change to the Regional Air Plan
- reviewing the On-site Effluent Treatment Plan
- part-funding work to support biodiversity on high-value ecological sites
- continuing to support community groups and volunteers to improve local environments.
“We have a comprehensive environmental monitoring programme in place and we help landowners and volunteer groups manage pests and protect natural areas,” Mary-Anne says.
“That work, along with our maritime safety, pollution response and care group support will continue as usual. The regional council needs to protect and maintain the Bay of Plenty’s unique environment, because the natural resources are vital to how we live.”
The $108.8m annual budget will be split across five community outcomes. The expenditure required to deliver these outcomes in 2016/17 is $1.3m lower than what was proposed under the council's Long Term Plan. Funding will come from a mix of council investments and reserve funds, central government and rates.
The 2016/17 annual plan details what activities the council will undertake and how they will be paid for. Copies of this are available from your local council office, libraries or online.
For further information about the regional council’s environmental protection work visit http://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/