No Increase In Grazing Licence Fees Helps Ease Drought Burden
There will be no increases in licence fees for grazing on Waikato Regional Council stopbank and spillway land in the Waihou-Paiko Zone this year.
The River and Catchment Management Committee this week approved a staff recommendation to hold the current levels for the 2020/21 financial year.
Committee chair Stu Husband says the decision acknowledges the difficulties that farmers are facing as a result of the drought, which was a one in 100-year event.
“There is a lot of pain out there, so well done to council staff in making this recommendation.”
The decision saves licensees about $74,214 across 203 agreements.
Fees are normally adjusted to be consistent with valuation assessments, last done by Quotable Value Limited in November-December 2019. The Waihou-Piako licences were due to expire on 31 May 2020. For the year 2019/2020, the revenue received was $500,446.
Licensing of stopbank and spillway land ensures controlled management of the land and protection of any flood control assets. The fees contribute to the total costs of administration, management and maintenance of the land and the flood protection scheme and offsets the need for rates.
The committee also renewed licence agreement conditions to ensure minimal damage to scheme land. Vehicles and tractors are no longer allowed on non-metalled parts of the land during winter, all stock is excluded from the land during winter, and all stock must be kept away from waterways at all times to ensure the integrity of the flood scheme assets.