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1% rates rise but full steam ahead for TRC

1% rates rise but full steam ahead for TRC

24 February 2014

The Taranaki Regional Council is proposing a modest 1% in its general rates take for 2014-2015, even while momentum gathers pace in major Council projects.

The proposed 1% follows a 1.5% increase in the current year and a zero rates increase last year. “We’re confident of maintaining our status as the lowest-rating Council in New Zealand,” says the Chairman, David MacLeod.

The rates proposal is outlined in the Draft Annual Plan 2014-2015, which the Council adopted today ahead of formal public consultation in March and April.

Mr MacLeod says the Council is in the thick of the action in what are buoyant and exciting times for Taranaki. It is efficiently processing and monitoring a greater volume of resource consents to enable development to take place, while ensuring environmental values are protected. While there is extra work for the Council, the extra costs are mostly met by resource users rather than ratepayers.

“The Council is also working on a number of its own major projects aimed at improving and enhancing the region’s economy, environment and lifestyles.”

Highlights of the Draft Annual Plan include:

• Continuation of the review of the Council’s freshwater rulebook, the Regional Fresh Water Plan for Taranaki. A formal consultation process is set to begin during the 2014-2015 year.

• Distribution of 550,000 native plants for protection of ringplain rivers and streams under the Council’s world-scale Riparian Management Programme.

• Continuation of the three-year project to upgrade flood defences on the lower Waitara River,  taking into account the heavier rainstorms that are expected in coming decades as a result of climate change.

• The second year of a multi-stage upgrade at Pukeiti gardens and rainforest. In 2014-2015.

• Completion of the first year of a two-year trial of a daily Hawera-New Plymouth bus service.  “This initiative has no funding support from the Government,” says Mr MacLeod. “But Taranaki has made it happen with innovative funding sources.  Like all bus services, though, this is a ‘use it or lose it’ scenario.”

Mr MacLeod says the proposed 1% rates increase would amount to very little in dollar terms for most householders in Taranaki.

A summary of the draft Annual Plan will be published in community newspapers in mid March and the full document will be available at District Council offices and libraries throughout the region, and at www.trc.govt.nz by the time public consultation opens on 17 March. Consultation closes on the Tuesday after Easter.

ENDS

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