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16.3.1 Obligation to Act in the Interests of its Residents and Ratepayers

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The fundamental components of Project Watershed are existing soil consideration schemes, current river management practices but in particular the Lower Waikato Waipa Catchment Control Scheme (LWWCS).

The current rating system for the LWWCS does not provide sufficient revenue and the scheme has operated in deficit for several years. Also, the rating scheme currently in place for LWWCS does not include all of the lands receiving direct and indirect benefits. With higher funding requirements, as set out in Council’s Strategic Plan, this deficiency needed addressing. Also the introduction of the Rating Powers Act (1988) and the Local Government Amendment Act N 3 (1996) significantly changed the way rating classifications are carried out, including the new principle of “contribution”, requiring upper catchment landowners to accept some responsibility for the downstream consequences of their water discharge.

Council believes that the positive use of the legislation will help to meet the objectives of Project Watershed and is in the best interest of the Region’s residents and ratepayers. The spread of the costs to all relevant sections of the community should make the Project Watershed affordable and protect the productivity and prosperity generated by the scheme.

Council considers that in terms of section 122G(a) of LGAA the allocation at step one is in the interests of residents and ratepayers and does not require modification.