Environment Waikato’s 2007/08 Annual Plan, adopted by council today, introduces changes to the way pest management work is funded in our region.
The council’s 2007-2012 Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS), also adopted today, directs about $5.7 million of Environment Waikato’s spending.
Up until now, RPMS work was funded from five different rates, including a flat rate per urban property or 52 cents a hectare for rural properties, 10 per cent of the general rate, community-specific possum scheme rates and funding from Waihou Valley and Coromandel zone rates (where applicable).
“A change in emphasis to more region-wide community good programmes such as biodiversity restoration and catchment protection created the need for a change in the rating system,” Environment Waikato chairman Jenni Vernon said.
“In this year’s Annual Plan we have introduced a single, region-wide rate based on capital value.”
The new rate will be $6.95 per $100,000 of capital value, down from the $8.13 proposed in the Draft Annual Plan. Last year, the aggregated cost of pest management across the region was about $6.62 per $100,000 of capital value.
Cr Vernon said she was disappointed this year’s government budget did not provide more funding for regional pest management strategies.
“Border biosecurity is important, but there is also a strong national interest in managing the pests we already have. Environment Waikato will keep pressing the government to pay its share.”