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Waikato Regional Council Calls On Communities To Share Their Views

Waikato Regional Council has opened for consultation on its 10-year plan, with the community being asked to share their views on five proposals.

To help communities get involved in the decision making process, the council has produced a consultation document that provides information on the proposals, options communities can choose between, rates implications and impacts on levels of service.

The council’s draft plan proposes an increase in rates revenue from current ratepayers of 6 per cent in 2024/25, 8 per cent in 2025/26 and 3 per cent in 2026/27.

In the first year of the plan, that means an increase of less than $50 a year for more than 80 per cent of ratepayers. However, those paying flood protection and catchment rates are likely to see larger increases.

Council Chair Pamela Storey said: “In May, elected members will make decisions on the council’s work for the next 10 years and its impact on rates. Before we do, we want to hear the views of our communities, and the best way to do this is by making a submission.”

The five topics being consulted on are:

  • Increasing the natural heritage rate to empower more communities to improve biodiversity.
  • Collecting a region-wide public transport rate.
  • Discontinuing the Regional Development Fund, so funds and staff time can be redirected elsewhere.
  • Funding for Te Waka, the regional economic development agency.
  • Changes to the funding of the council’s rural compliance and support work.
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To read the proposals and make a submission go to Consultation ends at 4pm on Thursday, 2 May.

Cr Storey said much of the council’s new work over the next three years is about “collecting the right information to help build the resilience of our regional environment into the future”.

This includes developing a water security management plan, reviewing how we fund critical infrastructure, furthering our understanding of this region’s natural hazard and climate risks to enable resilient decision making, and identifying actions to rehabilitate the degraded catchments of Lake Waikare and Whangamarino Wetland.

Find the impact of this plan on your rates at Calculations are indicative and subject to change based on the final decisions of council. Rates will be effective from 1 July 2024.

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