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Published: 2012-12-14 00:00:00

A proposed new system for rating for flood control in the Coromandel settlement of Te Puru is fairer on the wider community there, says Coromandel zone manager Julie Beaufill.

The council is consulting with the Te Puru community over a variety of options for funding flood control going forward.

Currently rating for flood protection assets – such as stopbanks and floodwalls - is on a per property basis. A preferred option endorsed by the council’s finance and audit committee would be a rate based on a 50/50 mix of capital value and per Separately Used and Inhabited Part (SUIP) of a property.

That would generally see properties pay less total rates for flood control. The Te Puru Holiday Park would see its rates jump by around $30,000 a year. However, it would have the potential to pass a portion of this on to those with a share in the park.

“We understand this won’t be easy for the Holiday Park and the people who now own shares in it. But, based on feedback from the community through our long term plan process and our analysis of the fairest and most equitable way to fund this work, we believe the option is the fairest and that’s why it’s been recommended to council,” said Ms Beaufill.

“This way of doing things recognises that the users of SUIPs on properties also benefit from the works we’ve done in this community, while having a CV element reflects the value of property being protected.”

However, Ms Beaufill stressed other options were the status quo of a per property charge, a combination of CV and per property, and an SUIP charge only.

“Newsletters explaining the options and inviting community feedback have recently been sent to residents. We will listen closely to what the community has to say before making a final decision on what is to be included in the draft annual plan for further consultation,” said Ms Beaufill.

The regional council, Thames-Coromandel District Council and the local community acted on flood control after the 2002 weather bomb, which saw the settlement suffer significant damage. Last financial year, construction of a flood mitigation scheme was completed, providing protection up to a one in 100 year flood event.

The regional council recently decided to review the way flood protection was rated after submitters on its 2012-2022 long term plan called for a change to the simple per property rate for funding flood protection assets. The submitters argued for the Te Puru Holiday Park to contribute more because it now has multiple private owners who have rights to the exclusive use and possession of specific areas in the park. Submitters felt having the park collectively pay more would create a more “equitable” funding arrangement for those on low incomes in Te Puru and better reflect the benefit those who own shares in the park receive from the flood protection assets.

“We think the option we’re proposing would achieve these goals which the majority of submitters were seeking,’ said Ms Beaufill.