Skip to main content

Local Government

Getting it right – long term plans for the Coromandel Peninsula

With everyone back from their summer holidays and daylight saving nearly over, Waikato Regional Council have some evening reading for you.
 |  Warren Maher  | 

In early April we release our Long Term Plan; where we set out what we’re going to do, the money we’re going to spend to do it and the impact this will have on rates. The LTP is reviewed every three years, guided by our strategic direction and the feedback we receive through public consultation.

The Waikato Regional Council is responsible for flood management and land drainage assets with a replacement value of $1.12 billion. These include 471 floodgates, 119 pump stations, 617 kilometres of stop banks and 456 river management and catchment management assets (dams, bridges, culverts, fences, etc).  The costs for maintaining these do not include consideration of the increasing challenges we are facing, such as extreme weather events, new government legislation, affordability and business capability. We have all seen the results of under capital investment in various council’s infrastructure. These issues have led to a change in the Infrastructure Strategy 2024-2074. In the first three years of the LTP, we are increasing investment in biodiversity, biosecurity and marine assets, all great news for our region. In the plan we have included five topics on which we need your feedback to guide our final decisions. These include, increasing our natural heritage rate, collecting a regional rate for public transport, discontinuing the regional development fund, funding Te Waka the regional development agency and changes to the funding for primary industry compliance.

Your views are important on all aspects of the LTP. There will be community events where feedback will be gathered. You can submit online or deliver a written submission to any of our four offices. I know we get overwhelmed with requests for submissions, but if you don’t make your views heard, you get left with the decisions of local body politicians, and we don’t always get it right! For clarity, the percentage of rates rise indicated for the next three years (6%, 8% and 3%) is actually the increase in revenue from rates and not the exact increase in rates per property. About 80% of properties will be at or below this rate with the remainder above, this is generally due to some properties having a percentage of targeted rates due to a benefit they receive (flood or drainage scheme, public transport etc).

I have read articles in the past few Informer’s regarding frustration about storm water, flooding etc, I am currently awaiting a meeting with some Cooks Beach residents and last weekend attended a meeting with Whiritoa residents along with Hauraki District Council where similar issues had been raised with compliments from residents on WRC staff responses to flooding prevention actions. I sit on the TCDC Shoreline Management group, and also a similar group recently formed with Hauraki District Council. The past storm events have left a huge cleanup program to the expense of normal work programs, but with recent increases in funding, staff will have increased capability to deal with this.

If you have a particular issue that is proving hard to resolve, please reach out.