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Priorities And Transformational Change: Environment Canterbury Adopts Long-Term Plan 2021-31


The Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) has formally adopted the Long-Term Plan 2021-31.

The plan sets the course for the Council’s work in the region – the essential priorities, statutory obligations, and transformational opportunities.

What it means for Canterbury

“The human impact on the environment is at the forefront of local and global thinking – it is the issue of the age,” says Environment Canterbury Chair Jenny Hughey.

“The Long-Term Plan acknowledges that there is much to be done in the region and some big challenges coming down the line. But it also gives us the opportunity to be transformational – something the community has been asking of us.

“The plan is our commitment to the community to improve environmental outcomes across the region – to accelerate change while balancing affordability and the region’s need to recover economically from COVID-19.

“From improving water quality and enhancing biodiversity, to managing natural hazards and climate change adaptation, the Long-Term Plan is our vision for stopping the decline in our environment and actively improving things for future generations.

“The plan was developed with our partner Ngāi Tahu, and with the help and guidance of the many submissions we received from across the region during the consultation period. Sincere thanks to all of you who took the time to make a submission,” says Chair Hughey.

Key aspects of the Long-Term Plan 2021-31

The plan groups Environment Canterbury’s work into five portfolios: Water and Land; Biodiversity and Biosecurity; Air Quality, Transport and Urban Development; Climate Change and Community Resilience; and Regional and Strategic Leadership.

Key initiatives include:

  • Implementing the Government’s Essential Freshwater Package, and developing a new Regional Policy Statement and Regional Coastal Environment Plan.
  • Implementing the Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan, plus surveillance initiatives to reduce the risk of pests becoming established.
  • Accelerating the protection and regeneration of the natural environment, including community-based initiatives, such as Me Uru Rākau, that enable landowners and groups to protect and regenerate ecological catchments.
  • Developing a climate change action plan.
  • Continuing to design, build and maintain high-quality flood protection, land drainage and erosion control infrastructure.
  • Delivering quality, cost-effective public transport that meets the needs of the community and increases patronage.
  • Promoting community participation in Council decision making, including investment in youth engagement and education, such as through the Enviroschools programme.

Key figures

Delivering the plan is expected to cost $243.8 million in the first year, with $129 million coming from rates.

This will see total rates revenue increase by 12.6%.

More detail on rates

The 12.6% total rates increase is made up of targeted rates, general rates, and a Uniform Annual General Charge (UAGC). Targeted rates and general rates vary for specific properties.

The UAGC per rateable property has been set at $36.71.

Information on rates per individual property will be available soon. In the meantime, a guide based on property type and region can be found here.

An overview of how rates are comprised can be found here.

Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31

The Environment Canterbury Council has also adopted the Canterbury Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-31. More details are available here.

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