The Regional Council will target climate change, natural resources and public transport challenges across the region after adopting its annual plan for 2019/20 today.
Acting Council Chair Barbara Donaldson said it was important to tackle some of the region’s biggest issues in year two of its long term plan 2018-28.
“We will be boosting efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and consider a carbon neutral target. We will also look at what long-term changes we can make to our critical infrastructure investments to continue to reduce our impact across the region,” Cr Donaldson says.
Meeting the needs of the region’s public transport users was also high on the council’s agenda.
“We plan to address any remaining issues in the bus network, continue our investment in rail infrastructure and look to the future as we progress our commitment to Let’s Get Wellington Moving.”
While committing to these long-term actions, affordability remains a key focus for the council. There was an average rates increase this year of 5.9 per cent. In adopting the annual plan today, Greater Wellington agreed to apply a differential rate within Wellington City only.
“Based on community consultation, we recognised that this change needed to be made and we are now committed to a comprehensive review of the Revenue and Financing Policy, which will be undertaken within the next triennium to ensure that contributions remain fair to ratepayers across the region.”
The council also accepted a proposal to increase fees associated with resource consents. A large part of its role is the processing and monitoring of resource consents for people or organisations who want to undertake activities that affect the region’s natural resources. It also carries out environmental monitoring and responds to incidents.
“The costs to provide these services have changed since the Resource Management Charging Policy was last updated in 2015. Increasing the fees will help us keep up with these changes and help us look after our natural resources in line with public expectations,” said Cr Donaldson says.
The changes to fees associated with resource consents will come into effect from July 1 while a comprehensive review of the Revenue and Financing Policy will be undertaken before the next annual plan 2020/21.
-News from GWRC