Annual Plan sets out strong work programme for Wairarapa
Greater Wellington Regional Council has adopted its Annual Plan 2014/15, which sets out its work programme and spending for the region over the current financial year.
For Wairarapa, the Annual Plan has included a number of projects and initiatives designed to boost resilience, protect and preserve our waterways, boost irrigation, prevent erosion, pollution and pests, and improve neighbourhoods and communities.
Recent earthquakes and storms in the region – including the January Eketahuna earthquake - have proven the effectiveness of the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) in responding to natural disasters.
WREMO will continue to work with communities to boost their preparedness for future events through a range of initiatives, including the Household Emergency Rainwater Tank project, which sees subsidised water tanks being sold through local councils, including Carterton, Masterton and South Wairarapa.
Protecting Wairarapa from the effects of potential flooding is a priority for GWRC, and this year we will prepare the Upper Ruamahanga Floodplain Management Plan and begin the implementation of the Waiohine Floodplain Management Plan.
The Ruamahanga Whaitua Committee will become fully operational as a community-based committee this year, charged with looking after the waterways around Wairarapa. Made up of representatives of local people, iwi, councils and interest groups, the Whaitua Committee will ensure local knowledge is being utilised when making decisions that could affect local waterways.
We will also continue to work with farmers to develop plans to prevent soil erosion and to manage pests that threaten farm productivity, including implementing the Wellington Regional Erosion Control Initiative, focusing on five selected catchments within the Wairarapa hill country. We will also work with communities on initiatives to protect and restore the environment, including pest management and the eradication of bovine Tb.
The Wairarapa Water Use Project will progress through prefeasibility investigations for a shortlisted set of possible storage sites.
The prefeasibility studies will take most of the financial year to complete and will involve detailed technical, geological, seismic, engineering, environmental, demand and cost benefit investigations as well as ongoing iwi and community consultation.
In the public transport space, GWRC is working to encourage more people to get out of their cars in favour of buses and trains. This year we will be completing the business case for integrated ticketing and fares.
With all this work GWRC has managed to keep the rates increase across Wairarapa down to 4.73%, down from the 10.4% forecast across the region in the Long Term Plan.
The increase equates to an average of $6.55 per year or around 12 cents a week for the average residential household, depending on the size and value of the home and its location.
For more information on rates increases and the Annual Plan 2014/15 visit www.gw.govt.nz/ annual-plan-2014-15.