Jenny Hughey, Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) chair

Push for bolder action

by Ann van Engelen

The new Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) want to hear the views of community members on the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan.

“We do want to hear from the community on what is proposed in the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan, and we welcome all feedback on that plan. What is really exciting the new council is ‘what’s next?’,” says chair Jenny Hughey.

“We are asking ourselves, and the community, where can we really build on what the previous council has done, and accelerate the activity? At our first strategy session, key themes, such as climate change and how Canterbury responds to it. Like being resilient to increased frequency of natural hazard events and pushing a bolder, faster planting and regeneration programme across the region, investing in a sustainable public transport system and increasing the visibility of our work to the community all came through.

“Some of these, for example, replenishing flood protection reserves, so we are ready for the next event, and keeping the momentum on the changes needed in our public transport system, are proposed to get underway in the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan period. Others will be developed over time if the community supports them, alongside other community-driven initiatives.

To do this, we need to hear from Cantabrians across the region about what a better future might look like.”

The draft 2020/21 Annual Plan and supporting financial tool, available on the Council’s website, shows an increase of 9.8 per cent in total rates revenue from the current year (2019/20). This percentage is made up of targeted and general rates. Some will have a lower increase and some higher depending on the mix of targeted and general rates for their property.

The bulk of the proposed rates income increase for 2020/21 is for improved public transport services, reserves to maintain and build flood protection infrastructure, and freshwater management.

The draft 2020/21 Annual Plan is available for community feedback until March 25. Go to the Have Your Say online engagement site to give feedback on the draft or comment on the council’s future focus or contact your local area councillor.