Most existing soil conservation schemes are based in the pumice lands of the Upper and Middle Waikato and Taupo management zones. Beneficiaries include the property owners directly affected, the district or area where the work is being undertaken and the wider Regional community. Accordingly, a large direct benefit (property value and utilisation) and a smaller direct ‘downstream’ benefit (economic, resource management, tourism, etc) results from this work. Utility operations (hydro generators and roading authorities) also benefit from this work.
There are several characteristics which the catchment control schemes of the Waikato and Waipa catchments have in common, particularly with respect to the flow of benefits. Landowners tend to be the major financial beneficiaries of the schemes. The key financial benefits of the soil conservation schemes are:
The public benefits are not easily quantified but are nonetheless significant. This is due to the fact that the community generally places high value on the protection of water quality and its associated values. The wider community also has a role in the long-term protection of natural resources and in achieving other values such as biodiversity.
Transitional maintenance work has a greater level of financial support, reflecting the greater community component of the work and the need to address the problem.
The allocation of costs to soil conservation beneficiaries and contributors in the following sections has, for most work programmes, been previously established and agreed through Asset Management Plans for major catchment schemes. Council made these earlier determinations after considering appropriate independent technical advice (Simon Harris, Harris Consulting). This previous work, subsequently reviewed by the technical advisor (Harris S, 2001) has formed the basis for the proposed allocations made in this document.
A recent report from the technical advisor includes the following summary of ranges of cost allocation for Environment Waikato’s soil conservation programmes:
|Landholder||25 - 67 percent|
|Local Community/Zone||20 - 40 percent|
|Utilities||4 - 30 percent|
|Contributor scheme works||15 percent|
|Contributor isolated works||40 - 50 percent|
The actual allocation for each work programme will depend on the type of work undertaken and the type of land use.