Ratepayers will notice an increase in rates as the Government’s freshwater proposals cause local councils to overhaul their water plans, National’s Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.
“With local elections occurring at the moment, the first job for incoming councillors will be to figure out how much they need to increase rates by as a result of these new regulations.
“Councils are still implementing improvements from the previous National Policy Statement (NPS), and now they’re expected to supersede these initiatives for another NPS only a few years later, and, in addition to that have it notified by 2025, which is a very short timeframe.
“These councils have already spent a huge amount of time and ratepayers’ money planning and implementing these changes, resulting in many of them already experiencing improved freshwater health.
“Having over a dozen Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities reviewing plans in just the next five years will put massive pressure on New Zealand’s fresh water experts and substantially increases the risk of dispute.
“Environment Canterbury (Ecan) ratepayers are expected to shell out an estimated $12 million over the next three years for new or modified planning processes.
“This is a rushed and costly process with a flawed consultation, and ultimately the cost of this is going to fall on to ratepayers both urban and rural.”