Time is running out for Taranaki people to comment on how the region should best navigate ‘an incoming tide of far-reaching change’ over the coming decade.
Submissions on the Taranaki Regional Council’s Long-Term Plan (LTP) close on Friday 9 April. More information and a submission form can be found at www.trc.govt.nz/LTPconsultation.
It’s an opportunity for people to comment and make suggestions about how the Government’s comprehensive Essential Freshwater package should be implemented in Taranaki. The Council says this is shaping up to be the largest single project in its history, requiring significantly more investment in environmental science. The Council must also work with Māori to develop an effective and meaningful partnership to monitor and manage the region’s waterways and groundwater.
The community’s views are also sought on the future of the region’s public transport networks and the transition to alternative fuels for buses, the future of the TRC’s outdated office accommodation, participation in a Regional Recovery Plan and a review of the Council’s ownership of Port Taranaki Ltd.
The draft budget for the 2021/2022 financial year points to a relatively modest total rates increase of $21 to $29 a year for residential properties worth $500,000, and about $60 a year for farms. Rates for many businesses would be slightly lower than the current year. The extra costs for environmental science staff and resourcing, will be partially offset by a big reduction in Yarrow Stadium rates thanks to a $20 million ‘shovel-ready’ grant.
The Council Chair, David MacLeod, says more upheaval is looming for local government, including the Government’s ‘Three Waters’ reforms, new legislation to replace the Resource Management Act and an evolving response to climate change.
“We’re facing an incoming tide of far-reaching change,” he says. “It’s important for you to speak up now so that Councillors are aware of all the relevant views and facts before making their decisions. That’s representative democracy at work.”
Mr MacLeod says Taranaki deserves the best when it comes to decision-making processes. “So make sure your concerns and opinions are understood around the Council table.”