The regional council adopts an annual plan in a “difficult environment”

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has passed its 2022/23 annual plan in what chairman Doug Leeder describes as a ‘challenging operating environment’.

Leeder says it is now becoming clearer what the future will look like after COVID-19 and this annual plan allows the regional council to focus on new work required while continuing what he said he would do in its long-term plan.

“The local government environment continues to change, with ongoing regulatory reform that includes central government plans to transform the governance of drinking water, waste and stormwater systems across the country. Changes to planning regulations, as well as to the law on resource management, are also underway. These changes will require significant engagement with the wider community, iwi and hapū,” he says.

“Additional complexity will arise with the October 2022 local elections, which we believe will generate considerable interest.

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

New work funded includes

  • Funding of $200,000 over three years for the Kōhī Marae OSET project to visit approximately 70 marae to assess their current state of on-site wastewater treatment and understand what improvements might be needed.
  • Funding of $130,000 per year for targeted watersheds in Te Mania, to be used in accordance with the Environmental Program Grants Policy to co-fund and implement on-farm mitigation measures that will help achieve environmental results. clean water and biodiversity.
  • Funding of $330,000 per year to Rotorua Watershed Environmental Programs to fund environmental program grants in the Rotorua Watershed to create greater equity following changes to the funding mechanism.
  • Additional funding of approximately $1.9 million for the planned upgrade of the lower Rangitāiki River arrest banks, involving the raising of arrest banks to complement the recommended flood protection program improvements of the Rangitāiki River and deal with the impacts of climate change.
  • Additional funding of approximately $4 million for the planned Whakatāne River Urban Flood Seepage Control Project to provide flood protection infrastructure for Whakatāne Township and also to plan for climate change impacts .
  • $114,000 to support spatial planning focused on urban growth in Whakatāne, Kawerau, Matatā, Rotorua and the Western Bay of Plenty.
  • One-time funding of $285,000 for the Bay of Abundance Transportation Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to provide a costed and deliverable program of greenhouse gas emission reduction bonds.

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