Annual plan adopted in “challenging environment“

Bay of Plenty Regional Council building in Elizabeth Street, Tauranga .Photo: File.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has adopted its Annual Plan 2022/23 in what chair Doug Leeder describes as a “challenging operating environment”.

Leeder says it is now becoming clearer what the future will look like post Covid-19.

He says this annual plan allows the Regional Council to focus on the new work required while continuing what it said it would do in its Long Term Plan.

"The local government environment continues to change, with regulatory reform underway that includes plans by Central Government to transform the governance of drinking, waste, and storm water systems across the country.

"Changes to urban development rules, as well as the Resource Management Act, are also in progress. These changes will require significant engagement with the broader community, iwi, and hapū.

"Further complexity will arise with local elections in October 2022, which we anticipate will attract considerable interest.

"Within this challenging operating environment, we will need to work with partners from local and central government, Māori, and other stakeholders. We are excited about the work we are planning for 2022/23."

New work being funded includes:

  • $200k funding over three years towards the Kōhī Marae OSET project to visit approximately 70 marae to assess their current state of on-site wastewater treatment, and understand what upgrades might be required.
  • $130k funding per annum towards Te Mania Focus Catchments to be used in accordance with the Environmental Programme Grants policy to co-fund and deliver on-farm mitigations that will help deliver clean water and biodiversity outcomes.
  • $330k funding per annum towards Rotorua Catchments Environmental Programmes for funding Environmental Programme Grants in the Rotorua Catchment to create greater equity following changes to the funding mechanism.
  • Approximately $1.9m additional funding for the planned Lower Rangitāiki River Stopbank Upgrade involving the raising of stopbanks to complete recommended improvements to the Rangitāiki River Flood Protection Scheme and address climate change impacts.
  • Approximately $4m additional funding for the planned Whakatāne River Urban Flood Seepage Control Project to provide flood protection infrastructure for the Whakatāne township and also provide for the impacts of climate change.
  • $114k to support urban growth focused spatial planning in Whakatāne, Kawerau, Matatā, Rotorua and the Western Bay of Plenty.
  • $285k one-off funding for the Bay of Plenty Transport Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to deliver a costed and deliverable programme of greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations.

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