Horizons adopts Long-term Plan

After considering over 500 submissions and hearing from more than 80 submitters, Horizons Regional Council adopted its final Long-term Plan for the next 10 years today.

The 2018-28 Long-term Plan will guide the way Horizons manages the region’s land, air and water resources, and how they will help to make this part of New Zealand a great place to live, work and play.
Chair Bruce Gordon says this year Council heard from a large number of passionate community members who shared their feedback on the key issues highlighted in the consultation document.
“These topics included changes to river management schemes, economic development and a proposed regional facilities fund, freshwater management, possible ways the Capital Connection could be retained, and changes to the Council’s name.
“Following submissions and deliberations, Council has identified which work programmes will require an increased expenditure, resulting in a 7.04 per cent average rate increase across the region for Year 1, 4.72 per cent average for Year 2, and 2.94 per cent average in Year 3. Bear in mind this regional rate average will differ between districts due to factors such as changes to property values, and specific rating inputs such as river schemes and urban passenger transport rates.
“Council has not made these decisions lightly, deliberating on the balance of keeping rates at an affordable rate while ensuring we have the appropriate levels of service in place.”
Cr Gordon says Council resolved several actions in the river management area of business.
“This included setting aside $50,000 per year to fund works to progressively make the Anzac Parade area in Whanganui more resilient to flooding; investing $4.9 million over 30 years to ensure river training structures along the lower reach of the Lower Whanganui River continue to be effective; and partnering with Horowhenua District Council to build a new flood relief pipeline for Foxton.
“Council has also allocated $200,000 per annum to meet demand in freshwater and partnerships work for stream fencing and planting, committed to funding in Year 1 of up to $110,000 from a mix of rates and reserves for the Capital Connection and commit to Years 2 and 3 to be reviewed annually; to change the region’s and Council’s name to Manawatū-Whanganui; and to remove $160,000 for weed harvesting in Lake Horowhenua from Year 1 of the Plan,” he says.
The final Long-term Plan, with the full details of Horizons’ work programmes, will be made publicly available on Horizons’ website within the next two weeks.