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From Warren Maher - Waikato Regional Councillor for Thames Coromandel.

Welcome to my third column bringing you news and information from Waikato Regional Council.

Waikato Regional Council held our final council meeting for the current financial year on Thursday 29 June. We had a number of agenda items up for decision, with three of the most important as follows.

1. We approved our annual plan which initially signalled a rate revenue increase of 5.8% in our February budget setting meeting, which I am pleased to announce will now be 5.4%. This means for 85% of rate payers an increase in regional council rates this year of less than $50. Councillors and staff worked hard to keep costs down with inflation at a high of 7.2% while still delivering our levels of service and repairs following the recent storm events.

2. Also confirmed in the council meeting, was the sign off for public consultation of the Waikato Regional Coastal Plan. This plan has not been updated since notification back in 1995 of the previous plan, and a lot has changed in our coastal environment in the preceding years. The plan will be notified in August and contains a framework for the integrated and sustainable management of the natural and physical resources by providing objectives, policies and rules to manage the use and development activities within the coastal marine area. This area extends from the high tide mark to 12 nautical miles out to sea. It is important for all communities to have input and I encourage people to provide feedback when the proposed plan opens for submissions.

3. Finally, we also approved the setting up of stakeholdercommitteesforflood protection and land drainage schemes. These are important as a means of communication for stakeholders directly back to the Council’s Integrated Catchment Committee. Thames Coromandel district will be included in the Hauraki Scheme committee. Councillors now break for the month of July,so hopefully the weather plays ball and I can enjoy some fishing.

Caption: Warren Maher.


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