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Published: 2013-03-07 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council rates that apply to every property in the region have dropped by 2.6 per cent for 2013/14, with the increase sitting instead with targeted rates.

A decrease in the general rate of $1.848 million reflects savings achieved through general efficiencies, joint procurement initiatives and the application of surpluses from the 2011/12 financial year to reduce rates.

Offsetting the reduction in the general rate is an increase in the biosecurity rate of $727,000 to fund expansion of the council’s priority possum control programmes.

In the 2013/14 Draft Annual Plan signed off by the council today, targeted rates are set to increase to pay for improvements to flood protection infrastructure and land drainage.

The largest part of the targeted rates increase is to fund a 10-year programme to upgrade stopbanks on a priority basis. In the 2012-2022 Long Term Plan (LTP) the council budgeted $2.2 million annually, with provision for $22 million over 10 years for the work.

A more detailed works programme has been developed since the LTP was adopted, with high priority works planned for the next three years primarily in the lower Waikato and Waihou-Piako zones.

Feedback on the proposed works programme is being sought, with landowners most affected receiving a newsletter with detailed information this week.

Te Puru landowners will also receive information on three ratings options to pay for work completed last year to protect the community from up to a 1-in-100 year flood.

In addition, public comment is being sought on:

  • the second phase of a review of state of the environment monitoring charges
  • council’s decision not to bring forward flood protection works at Graham’s Creek, but to instead undertake the works in 2014/15 as planned in the LTP.

The council’s draft works programme for 2013/14 will be will be delivered on a proposed rates revenue of $78.249 million, a reduction of $1.28 million on the amount forecast in the 2012-2022 Long Term Plan. This equates to an average increase of 2.9 per cent to existing ratepayers. 

Visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/annualplan from Tuesday next week to read the draft annual plan and make your submission online.

The draft annual plan summary will appear in the March issue of Your Waikato, arriving in letterboxes around the region next week. It will also be available to read online at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/your-waikato. 

The public submissions period opens next Tuesday (12 March) and closes at 4pm on Friday, 12 April. Hearings are scheduled for 7-10 May, with the final plan due for adoption by the council in June.