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Rotorua lakes and rate rises draw fire

MEDIA RELEASE

Rotorua lakes and rate rises draw fire in submissions

For immediate release: Monday 16 May 2005

Rotorua lakes restoration, rate rises and the funding of passenger transport are three strong themes in submissions to Environment Bay of Plenty’s Draft Annual Plan.

By the closing date in early May, the regional council had received 115 submissions on its plan for 2005/2006. Group manager finance Paul Gavin says the largest number focused on Environment Bay of Plenty’s work to clean up the Rotorua lakes.

“Some Tauranga people said they didn’t think they should have to fund this work while several Rotorua ratepayers felt they were paying more than people living in other parts of the region - and shouldn’t have to. In some cases, they were also not confident the actions being taken would work,” he explains.

A plan to build a wall to divert Lake Rotorua’s water directly down the Kaituna River also attracted comment. “These submitters were concerned the problem of lakes quality was going to be offloaded into the river and the Maketu estuary.”

Mr Gavin says the second major focus was planned rate rises, followed by the council’s funding of passenger transport. “Some submitters wrote that they were already paying enough for transport, for example through taxes, road user taxes and district council rates on roading. They thought it should be the responsibility of central government, not the regional council, to pay for passenger transport.”

The council will hear and consider submissions later this month before adopting a revised plan in late June, in time for the start of the financial year on July 1.

ENDS

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