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Otago Regional Council opens consultation on draft plan

Otago Regional Council opens consultation on draft plan for the next ten years

The Otago Regional Council today approved their consultation document for the draft long-term plan.

The proposal outlines The Otago Regional Council’s aim to build on its existing work programs to ensure a sustainable future for the region. This includes social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change, extending the programme for water monitoring and outlining the next steps in the strategy for water quality: wastewater and urban storm water. The ORC wants to ensure it can accommodate these key issues and apply sustainable thinking as it looks ahead.

The Regional Council’s chairperson, Stephen Woodhead said “As the organisation tasked with overseeing the environmental wellbeing of Otago, we must continue to be proactive. We’ve heard the community’s expectation that we do more of what we’re already doing. This will ensure that we stay ahead of environmental issues – from land and aquatic pests to water quality, quantity and beyond.”

The consultation document will be distributed to mailboxes region-wide via community newspapers from Thursday, 19th April 2018.

While consultation is open on the plan, Regional Council staff members will be hitting the road for the For Our Future Roadshow across eight venues region-wide. The roadshow will include a pop-up science laboratory in a shipping container (Otago’s own ‘Lab-in-a-Box’). The lab will be staffed by experts from our Science and Natural Hazards teams as well as Otago Museum Science Communicators and will feature science demos and displays themed around local interest and key areas of consultation. There will also be Councillors and staff on hand to discuss the plan and answer questions. The Roadshow will also include a series of community meetings staff and Councillors.

The Otago Regional’s Chief Executive Sarah Gardner said “We’re adopting a new approach with our For Our Future Roadshow and taking the opportunity to get out into communities across the region with the Lab-in-a-Box. We hope this will be really engaging and an opportunity for the whole family to get involved during the school holidays. We are also taking a fresh approach online, using a platform specifically developed for engagement and consultation.”

The draft plan will result in an increase in general rates, applied over several years. For 2018-2019 this is expected to be around $1.4 million across approximately 115,000 households.
Consultation will be open until Friday 11 May.

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