From our Chair: New rates calculator tool to support decision making

As a ratepayer in the Christchurch area, the increase in rates proposed in Environment Canterbury’s draft Long-Term Plan is about $1.55 a week.

Jenny Hughey, Chair, Environment Canterbury

Jenny Hughey, Chair, Environment Canterbury

I urge you to check out our rates calculator, put in your address and see what your rates increase would be under the proposed options in the plan.

Rates increase explained

What is happening here?

Right now, you are probably looking at ‘24.5% rates increase from Environment Canterbury’ and wondering what on earth are we thinking.

This Council has fronted up to the climate change crisis facing us all and the national and global call for more action to be taken to address the environmental and societal issues of the day - and somebody has to pay for it. The question is who, and how much.

All around New Zealand regional and local councils are releasing their draft Long-Term Plans for 2021 to 2031, to gather community feedback. Environment Canterbury has just released ours – and the proposed 24.5% increase in money needed from rates has understandably hit the headlines.

The questions for the community to consider are: do you agree with the action proposed, and do you think the community can afford to pay for it?

I’ll agree that it is actually quite difficult to get to the bottom of what the regional council is proposing getting done and to fully understand what it is going to cost you personally.

Use the rates calculator tool to see impact on your rates

See our new rates calculator to see how much you may be impacted

I encourage you to read our consultation document at haveyoursay.ecan.govt.nz/LTP to find out more, and also to find out what your rates would look like.

Rates accounts for just over half of our total income. Subsidies, grants and user-pays fees make up the rest, allowing us to deliver far more than we could through rates alone. The 24.5% proposed increase in rates is the increase in the total amount we would need from rates across the region to deliver our Option 1 set of activity (two options are outlined in the consultation information).

So you need to find out what the impact will be on you personally – and then decide if you can afford to pay that much extra to facilitate the activity outlined in the consultation document.

Let us know what you think

The last step – very important – is to let us know. Tell us what you like, what you don’t like. Can we afford to not do the work? Can the community afford for us to do the work? We need to hear from you.

  • Check out the rates calculator and the other online tools at haveyoursay.ecan.govt.nz/LTP and tell us what you think.
  • Consultation is open until 11 April and I am looking forward to hearing from you.