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No ECan targeted rate to fund cleaner air

June 7, 2006

No ECan targeted rate to fund cleaner air Rangiora/Kaiapoi

Concerns express by Rangiora and Kaiapoi submitters on Environment Canterbury’s draft Long Term Council Community Plan about the cost of some Clean Heat Project proposals have been taken on board by the council, says North Canterbury regional councillor, Ross Little.

Environment Canterbury has today decided not to go ahead with its Clean Heat Project proposals for Rangiora/Kaiapoi and Timaru, as set out in its draft Long Term Council Community Plan.

Rangiora/Kaiapoi will receive $100,000 from Environment Canterbury towards an education and marketing programme. Of this, $50,000 will be sourced from money received from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and another $50,000 will be from general rates, reducing the initial proposed budget of $350,000 of ratepayers’ money to $50,000. “This reflects the initial stage we are at in Rangiora and Kaiapoi, compared to Christchurch, where clean heat initiatives have been in place for many years,” says Cr Little.

He says Environment Canterbury will work with the Waimakariri District Council, including the establishment of a community advisory group, to recommend the intervention required to meet the National Environmental Standard by 2013. “The nature of the education and marketing programme will still have to be determined,” says Cr Little. “But it’s fair to say we will have to work closely with the communities involved in order to achieve an outcome that puts us on track.” Cr Little says he is pleased that at least one financial burden is out of the way for Waimakariri ratepayers.

Timaru will also receive $50,000 of EECA funding, to go towards education and marketing. The initial proposed budget for a targeted rate-funded scheme for Timaru was $450,000.

The chairman of Environment Canterbury’s air quality portfolio, Cr Richard Budd says these decisions were taken after thorough public consultation. “We received 49 submissions from Kaiapoi/Rangiora and 42 from Timaru and it was clear that these areas weren’t ready for a full-scale Clean Heat Project like Christchurch’s,” he says.

Cr Budd, also the chairman of the panel hearing the clean heat proposal submissions, says the majority of submitters were against the rate implications, which would have amounted to $39 per $100,000 capital value. Timaru, Kaiapoi and Rangiora, like Christchurch, have a significant air pollution problem during winter months, which will have to improve to meet central government’s National Environmental Standard for air (NES) by 2013.

ENDS


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