Environment Canterbury: rates, representation and future activity

Today the Environment Canterbury Council adopted the Long-Term Plan 2018-28, confirming the activity and budget for the coming years.  At the same meeting, the Council also approved the draft Regional Land Transport Plan, and their initial proposal for representation in the upcoming 2019 local body elections.

"It has been a significant day around the Council table. Council adopted the Long-Term Plan after a thorough process with the community to land the plan at a place that the community can be confident with overall and that the organisation can deliver.

It is a balancing act around budgets, community desires from both ends of the spectrum on many issues, what we have to do under the regulatory framework, and what we are inspired to achieve. The Council has enjoyed and valued the input from those people who have engaged with us during the process. While it is not possible to please absolutely everyone as often views come from completely opposing sides, as a whole we are happy with where this plan has landed.

It is ambitious, focused on action on the ground, and will deliver the results we want to see," says Chairman, Steve Lowndes.

The total rates revenue* for 2018/19 will rise by 4.9% from the total rates revenue in 2017/18.

Regional Land Transport Plan approved

The Regional Land Transport Plan was approved at the same meeting through the recommendation from the Canterbury Regional Transport Committee to vary the Regional Land Transport Plan to incorporate changes arising from a review of that plan. These changes centre around the incorporation of the draft Transport Agency Investment Proposal, and accelerating the LED street light renewal programme of activities for Waimate District Council.

"Essentially this plan is our bid to central Government for the support required for transport networks into/out of and around our region. We consulted with the community on the plan earlier in the year, and it aligns with the Government's direction and community needs."

Proposed constituency boundaries and representation approved

The Council's initial proposal for the constituency boundaries and representation (number of Councillors) for each, for the 2019 elections, was approved to go out for public consultation. It was acknowledged at the meeting that avenues are also being explored with Ngāi Tahu regarding mana whenua representation continuing on the Council after the elections.

"This is an exciting time for this Council. The controversy around the governance model is no secret, with many people holding views on whether Commissioners should have been brought in and when the return to fully-elected should have happened. Regardless, as a Council there has been a great deal of excellent work and progress made over the last few years, and the mixed model is currently working extremely well as a cohesive unit.

The time has come to look to the formation of a fully-elected Council again, and we are excited about that. The constituencies and representation we will now be consulting on, reflects where we think the communities of interest lie, but it is important to note that once elected the Council works as a whole and represents all interests across the region. We do that well now, and I am sure the new council in 2019 will continue to do that well".

Te Reo Māori names have been adopted for each of the constituencies to reflect the environmental significance of each.

Further information can be found online:

An Outstanding Contribution Award was made to Dr Andy Pearce, Chairman of the CWMS Regional Committee.  

* A total rates revenue rise of 4.9% comes from a mix of changes to the general and targeted rates.  For sample properties' actual $ increases, visit the rates page.