Submissions sought to shape the Region

Horizons Regional Council are calling for the public to have their say on their proposed 2018-28 Long-term Plan (LTP), which was adopted in a Regional Council meeting yesterday.

The proposed LTP sets out how Council intends to manage the region’s land, air and water resources over the next 10 years. This includes planned work programmes and activities and what rate contributions will be required to help cover the proposed costs for each year.

Horizons chair Bruce Gordon says Council has been workshopping all areas of the organisation for over six months.

“This has included discussing what challenges lie ahead and what needs to be put in place to mitigate factors such as more frequent and intense storms, hill country erosion, biosecurity threats, maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, and adapting to changes in central government policies,” says Mr Gordon.

“As a result we have identified a need to increase expenditure for some of our work programmes. The proposed LTP forecasts an average rate increase of 7.44 per cent for the Region in Year 1, 4.54 per cent for Year 2, and below the predicted rate of local government inflation plus 2 per cent for Year 3 onwards.

“It is important to note that these rates will differ district by district due to factors such as property valuations and targeted rates for programmes such as river management schemes and passenger transport.

“We appreciate that any rate increase isn’t ideal and that is why we have compiled a consultation document to help highlight what some of the key items are in our Plan.

“These include changes to river management and drainage schemes, especially in areas such as the Tararua and Ruapehu districts, Ohakune, lower Whanganui, Feilding and Foxton; economic development and whether we should establish a regional facilities fund; and our commercial investments.

“We are also asking our communities whether they would like us to retain the Capital Connection service, what they think of our proposed community outcomes, and whether we should change the Region’s and Council’s name to include a macron over Manawatū and adding a ‘h’ to Whanganui.

“We welcome all submissions, big or small, as every piece of feedback we receive provides us with a greater understanding of our communities’ priorities. This will help us to better align those priorities with Horizons‘ work going forward.”

Submissions to Horizons 2018-28 LTP close on 30 April 2018. The consultation document and further supporting documentation is available online at and from Horizons’ service centres.

Submission forms are also available online and will be delivered to letterboxes throughout the Region over the next week or so.