Regional Council Adopts Annual Plan In “challenging Environment”

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council has adopted its annual 2022/23 plan in what President Doug Lieder describes as a “challenging operating environment.”

Leader says it is now clearer what the future will look like after COVID-19 and this annual plan allows the regional council to focus on the new work needed 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 the central government to transform the governance of drinking, waste and rainwater systems across the country. Changes to urban development rules, as well as the Resource Management Act, are also underway. These changes will require Significant involvement with the broader community, iwi, and hapū,” he says.

“More complexity will arise with the local elections in October 2022, which we anticipate will attract significant interest.

“In 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 plan for 2022/23.”

New work being funded includes

  • $200,000 over three years to fund the Kōhī Marae OSET project to visit approximately 70 marae to assess the current status of on-site wastewater treatment, and understand what upgrades may be required.
  • Funding of $130,000 annually for the Te Mania Focus catchment that will be used in accordance with the Environmental Program Grants Policy to co-finance and implement on-farm mitigation actions that will help provide clean water and biodiversity outcomes.
  • $330,000 per year to fund environmental programs for the Rotorua catchment to fund Rotorua Catchment Environmental Program grants to create greater equity following changes in the funding mechanism.
  • Approximately $1.9 million in additional financing for a planned Lower Rangitāiki River Stopbank project that includes raising temporary banks to complete recommended improvements to the Rangitāiki River flood protection system and addressing climate change impacts.
  • Approximately $4 million in additional funding for the Whakatane River Flood Control Project planned to provide flood protection infrastructure for the town of Whakatane and also provide for the impacts of climate change.
  • $114,000 to support spatial planning focused on urban growth in Whakatane, Cawiro, Matata, Rotorua, and Western Bay of Plenty.
  • One-time financing of $285,000 for the Bay of Plenty Transportation Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to deliver a cost-effective, deliverable program of greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments.

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