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Regional Community Benefit

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The wider Regional community beneficiaries identified include:

  • State highway, roading and communication networks and users.
  • Recreational users.
  • General security.
  • Resource management.

Protecting Regional communication links and infrastructural assets from the effects of major disaster is considered important to the Regional community. The effective management of the Region’s major river and catchments from a resource management perspective is also of widespread interest to the social well being, commercial and economic viability of the Region, particularly the urban areas. The capital value basis of the Regional rate provides a greater contribution from urban areas consistent with this benefit.

The Regional benefit also includes benefits accruing to those outside the Region, including the Crown. Council does not have the legal ability to recover a share of expenditure from them.

The extent of Regional benefit depends on the zone within which the work is undertaken, and the nature of the work. Council has determined that the overall the Regional benefit allocation is approximately 14 percent of total annual expenditure.

Local Community Benefit

People occupying land within, or regularly travelling through the major direct benefit area of the catchment, receive significant indirect benefits. Project Watershed provides them with the protection, security and confidence to invest, reside and travel in the area and, over time, it has created a relatively safe environment that has allowed and encouraged the development of a wide range of agricultural commercial and recreational activities, including quick and assured access to rural servicing towns in all weather conditions. Such benefits, although of an intangible nature are nevertheless of real value and they extend well beyond the area on which the assets making up Project Watershed are constructed.

It is considered that all of the land within the catchment receives a degree of indirect benefit, however small, based on its “community of interest” with the rest of the catchment. Even ratepayers who live in areas remote from the Waikato or Waipa rivers and who have never seen a floodgate still rely on service towns which would be smaller and offer a greatly reduced range of goods and services if it was not for the commercial activity generated through the protection Project Watershed provides. The hill areas benefit in significant ways from the receipt of services which owe their existence partially or wholly to Project Watershed.

The indirect benefits accruing to the upper catchment areas result from their proximity and relationship to the tributaries that flow into the Waikato and Waipa rivers. These indirect benefits relate to use of the facilities and communities, such as local schools, clubs, services, local roads etc that rely on the economic well being of those adjoining direct scheme benefit areas. The indirect benefit in some extremities of the catchment is small, but it is considered not to be so negligible as to justify their exclusion.

Council considers that there are two levels of local community benefit - a greater Waikato catchment benefit (for those with land in the greater Waikato catchment) and a zone benefit (for those with land in the five defined zones of the Waikato River catchment). The allocation of indirect has been undertaken on this basis.

Council considered that the (approximate) Regional benefit is 14 percent, the greater Waikato catchment benefit 11 percent, the average zone benefit is 22 percent and that land receiving these benefits should be identified and the extent of benefit assessed.