Water Quality Charges FAQ

 

1.      How much of the research am I funding?

The total annual science and research cost to Horizons, including charges for fixed equipment, computer software, laboratory costs, staffing and research agency fees is $4.071 million.  Thirty percent (30%) of this cost is funded by consent holders through the research charges, with the balance being funded through the General Rate.

2.      How often is this research fee charged?

The charge is levied each year unless the consent is cancelled, or expires, or is transferred.

3.      To what period does my invoice refer, and how often are invoices sent?

Your invoice refers to 12 month period 1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016. These invoices are issued annually, midway through the invoice period (mid to late January each year).

4.      How are the charges calculated (from 2015/16 LTP)?

The charges are set out in the 2015-16 Long Term Plan, shown in column 2 of  the table below:

NOTE:  1.  Charges in the Annual Plan are GST excluded; 2. Following the migration of consents data to IRIS and reconciliation / corrections in the system a calculated fee for discharges will be invoiced for 2015/16 - shown in column 3 of the table.  The rates are reduced between 6 to 11% depending on the size of discharge.

 

Type and Quantity

2015-16

Annual Fee

2015-2016

Calculated Fee

Benign Discharge

 

-

Discharge to Land <25

143

136

Discharge to Land>25 to 50

190

181

Discharge to Land >50 to 100

285

272

Discharge to Land >100 to 200

380

363

Discharge to Land >200 to 1,000

1,268

1,209

Discharge to Land >1,000 to 10,000

1,427

1,360

Discharge to Land 10,000+

1,585

1,512

Discharge to Water <25

285

272

Discharge to Water>25 to 50

380

363

Discharge to Water >50 to 100

571

544

Discharge to Water >100 to 200

761

726

Discharge to Water >200 to 1,000

2,536

2,419

Discharge to Water >1,000 to 10,000

2,853

2,721

Discharge to Water 10,000+

3,170

3,023

Unspecified Volume Discharge

1,585

1,512

Land Fill – High impact

3,170

3,023

Land Fill – Medium impact

476

453

Land Fill – Low impact

159

151

 

Some sites require Council to do more monitoring, therefore, the Tables below show Consent Holders from who Council now recovers additional research charges. 

 

Additional Research Site (in addition to standard charge)

2015-16

Annual Fee

 

 

AFFCO Feilding

4,583

DB Breweries

8,500

Fonterra - Longburn

3,117

Fonterra - Pahiatua

1,567

Horowhenua District Council

7,400

Manawatu District Council

23,150

NZ Defence Force

6,550

Palmerston North City Council

8,483

Rangitikei District Council

24,733

Riverlands Manawatu

3,850

Ruapehu District Council

26,463

Scanpower

4,717

Winstone Pulp

4,483

 

Additional Monitoring at Site

2015-16

Annual Fee

Tararua District Council

As per contract

 

5.      Why are there two consent numbers on my Invoice this year?   Am I being  billed twice for every consent I hold?

You have two or additional consent numbers because we have moved to a new Consents database – this required all existing consents to be renumbered.  To avoid confusion we have included both (old and new) numbers this year so that you are aware of the new number. 

 No, you are only billed for the consent/s you have previously had – there is no double billing.

Your consent/s are shown on the Invoice as:  New Consent No  ATH-1993000762.00 (formerly 3381)       .

6.      Why do I have to pay?

Council has determined that consent holders receive individual benefit from the research that is carried out. 

The individual compliance fee (separately charged) covers the costs of monitoring a holder’s individual consent.

The research charges contribute towards the costs incurred by Horizons in researching and identifying the cumulative impact on our environment of all such activities across our region.  Information gained from this research can also be used by applicants during the resource consent application process.

This research is essential for our many regional organisations, farms and other industries, who are dependant on this information.  Further, the findings enable us to continue to provide communities and users with ongoing services, including water for recreational use, clean drinking water and a healthy habitat for native fish. 

 By maintaining and further developing knowledge of our region’s natural resources, the interests of the consent holder, the needs of the wider regional community and the resource itself are all protected.

7.       How can I have my say regarding these charges?

Research charges are determined by Horizons Regional Council’s elected Councillors following a public consultation process.

You can make submissions on Council’s Draft Annual Plan during the consultation process generally in the first third of each year, and during the three-yearly Long-Term Council Community Plan consultation process.  For further information on how to get involved, please contact Customer Services at Horizons on Phone  0508 800 800.  

8.      What do I get for my money?

Cleaner, safer water both now and for the future.  By researching the effects of all current resource consents including your own, the Council is able to ensure that such consents can be effectively maintained, whilst sustainably managing the environment now and for the future. 

9.      What about those people who benefit from this research but are not charged this fee?

All ratepayers, both rural and residential, fund a total of 70% of the research costs through the general rating system.

 

10.    Why isn’t this fee also being charged to my neighbour?

If you believe that your neighbour should also be liable for this charge, please provide full details and we will investigate this matter.

 

11.     Who can I contact for more information?

  • General queries about the charge itself

e.g. "Why has this charge been introduced?"

Reception/call centre (freephone 0508 800 800) then transferred to the Scientists duty phone (Ext 815) staffed by Harold Barnett, James Lambie or Amy Shears.

 

  • Questions about the invoice

e.g. “I need more time to pay”.

Reception/call centre (freephone 0508 800 800) then transferred to Ebonee McDavitt in Accounts.

 

  • Questions related to the actual consent

e.g. “I no longer own this property/consent.” or “I surrendered by consent last year”.

Reception/call centre (freephone 0508 800 800) then transferred to Pita Kinaston on 5841 or 0212277448.