Otago Regional Council rates

UPDATED

### ODT Online Tue, 9 Mar 2010
ORC opts for zero rates rise
By Rebecca Fox
No general rate increase is planned by the Otago Regional Council in the coming financial year. Last year’s long-term council community plan listed a 2% rates rise for 2010-11, but the council’s draft annual plan proposes no movement in the general rate. However, the long-term plan’s provisions for rates rises in targeted rating areas – including the Taieri, Clutha (drainage and flood protection works) and in Queenstown (new bus services) – remain.
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### ODT Online Fri, 12 Mar 2010
Editorial: Regional rates
A rare piece of good news emerged for beleaguered ratepayers this week: the Otago Regional Council draft annual plan shows no increase in the general rate. The ORC chairman points out it is a draft budget only, but nevertheless, how refreshing. Why can’t other councils do the same? To be fair, as a regional council, the ORC is not charged with those large and expensive tasks like supplying water, processing sewage or maintaining roads which fall to district and city councils. But, as clearly evidenced in the Canterbury regional council’s woes, the regulatory and planning demands are exacting and no easier with every passing year.

Before becoming too enthusiastic about no general rate rise, it is worth noting that the bulk of regional rates for most people are “targeted”. These include rates for transport (subsidising buses, now including in Queenstown), the Forsyth Barr Stadium, clean air, river management and flood and drainage schemes.

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Related Story:
12.3.10 ORC to focus on water quality

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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10 Comments

Filed under Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management

10 responses to “Otago Regional Council rates

  1. Anonymous

    Might as well say:

    ‘… sites showed “meaningful declining water quality” trends … rapidly intensifying catchments have increasing nutrient levels … degrading water quality over the longer term tended to be smaller streams in agriculturally intensive catchments…’

    Aka more dairy farms + more fertiliser + more cows = more shit.

    ORC response to declining water quality? The usual puffery. Action? None. Maybe a fine or two to make themselves look active in the media.

    The ORC is a waste of space. Too busy with blowing public money on a rugby stadium, gold fever in Central and ridiculous legal battles – an “organisation-wide efficiency drive” of its executive and management has been long overdue.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/205869/water-quality-declining-orc-report

    • Elizabeth

      Submissions to the ORC close at 5pm on May 2.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 26 Apr 2012
      Doubt over water plan changes
      By Debbie Porteous
      Proposed changes to improve water quality in Otago are likely to have significant impacts on how the Dunedin City Council conducts its operations and manages its resources, council staff say. The council’s infrastructure services committee agreed this week the council should make an initial submission, and further if required, on the Otago Regional Council’s proposed plan change 6A (water quality) to the regional plan: water for Otago.

      City council water and waste services manager John Mackie told councillors that if the proposals were allowed to proceed unchecked, the social and financial implications for Otago communities would be significant and far-reaching.

      Read more

  2. Anonymous

    Gee, it seems our waterways are being destroyed by more lethal types of algae bloom, now a threat to both humans and animals. Otago Regional Council is concerned in the latest Oddity report but no reference to increased dairy farming and its hideous fertiliser programs in the same areas. Nothing about shit and chemicals leeching into the water table and finding its way into streams, rivers and lakes. The council might be concerned but the government is turning a blind eye and the corporations are destroying our backyard for profit.

    Stay away from Lake Waihola and Taieri River was last month’s message. In another decade we will be looking at water and trying to remember what it looked like before it was full of sludge. While the latest incarnation of Fonterror will be off destroying someone else’s country.

  3. Anonymous

    ### ODT Online Sat, 13 Jan 2013
    Potentially lethal algae new hazard
    By Nigel Benson
    A potentially toxic algae which appeared in Otago waterways last month is disappearing, but has been replaced by another potentially lethal algae. The Otago Regional Council warned the public last month to avoid Lake Waihola, Tomahawk lagoon and the Taieri River at Henley because of the presence of the toxic blue-green algae, which can produce toxins capable of causing illness and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and mouth.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/242283/potentially-lethal-algae-new-hazard

  4. Anonymous

    Does anyone know what happened to the section of trees alongside the rail line just south of Waihola? According to comments about town, they were killed with a tree poison – the culprit believed to be either Clutha District Council or Otago Regional Council. Those trees added a lot to the town’s environment, particularly as you enter Waihola. Now they look like a row of death. Why kill them? The trees are no more risk than the sections on the north side of Waihola or all along the straights. In fact, the trees look to have been killed off so efficiently that they must surely pose a greater risk now.

    This situation seems like another example of the universal madness that is gripping New Zealand – somewhere a bureaucrat sat behind a desk and ordered the killing of something, so his or her job would be seen to be of something of value on another manager’s report.

    What is needed is a major recovery plan for Waihola lake and protection for its surroundings. While some authorities might dismiss it as “naturally brown from the silt” (Eds – feel free to link to Chongqing), authorities and media are overlooking the increasing dairy farms and intensive dairying methods occurring there and many other fertile areas throughout the South.

  5. The trees were sprayed using Roundup as part of a two-year $180K project initiated and funded privately through grants by the Lake Waihola Waipori Wetlands Society. The Society spent three years working within the community looking at the future management of the 2500 hectares of wetlands including Lakes Waihola and Waipori. Willow control (the lack of) by local authorities had frustrated the community and they developed a plan to eliminate it in large areas. Willow had largely choked many of the main channels within the interior and fringes of the wetlands and lakes. This destroyed recreational access, sedimentation, the destruction of aquatic bird and fish species habitat and placed the wetland habitat at severe risk of being completely overrun. The other main issue is that willow in the channel areas had stopped freshwater flow into Lake Waihola and Waipori. The Lake Waihola Waipori Wetlands Society are made up of local people including hunters, white-baiters, fishermen, boaties, and farmers who have collectively come together to deal with a problem that had been largely ignored by the ORC and underfunded by DoC. Their intention now is to remove the dead trees South of Waihola and replant large areas with native plants. Many of the adjoining farmers to the lake have voluntarily retired the lake fringes from stock use and will be fencing those areas to encourage native plant regeneration. This has been a community based project that could take upwards of 20 years to complete given the size and scale of the area. You can see more information at http://waihola-waipori-wetlands.org.nz/
    The natural regeneration of native wetland and lake plants will have huge benefits for the water and habitat quality of the lakes and wetlands, but this project is hugely challenging. It does look a bit ugly, but the long term gains can’t be ignored.

  6. So in short local people took the initiative over a difficult environmental problem, and good on them.

  7. Anonymous

    Thank you daseditor. I’ll be passing along your post. Must be a slight disconnect with a couple of locals, but at least those who visit Waihola frequently will have a better understanding of what is going on once that knowledge circulates.

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