Waikato Regional Council is proposing a programme which would assist homeowners with low interest loans to make sustainable improvements such as water tank and solar power installations, clean heating, insulation, double-glazing, ventilation, and septic tank upgrades.
The impetus for including the home improvement program in the Regional Council’s Long Term Plan consultation document came from Thames-Coromandel representative Denis Tegg.
“Although our Regional Council had not done anything as broad as this before I could see that it ticked a lot of boxes that squared with our strategic priorities”. When I approached fellow councillors in July 2020 to outline the proposal, there was immediate enthusiasm for it.”
“Many homes are still not warm and dry, clean heat options reduce air pollution, recent severe droughts in the eastern Coromandel showed the need for water tanks, upgrading septic tanks improves water quality, and more efficient heating and solar power systems help reduce climate emissions. The programme will also bring millions of dollars into communities with more work and jobs for local suppliers, so it’s a win-win for local economies as well”
“Another key benefit is that rating impacts will be specific to those properties participating in the scheme. For all other ratepayers, there will not be any rating impact”.
How would it work?
- A ratepayer voluntarily opts into the scheme and obtains a quote from a list of approved local suppliers.
- Regional Council places a voluntary targeted rate (VTR) on the property, with the loan repaid over 10 years.
- Only those that opt into the scheme will be responsible for the loan costs. Rating impacts will be specific to those properties participating in the scheme. For other ratepayers, there is no rating impact.
- Ratepayers need to demonstrate a good credit rating and rates payment history before acceptance. If there is a VTR on the property at the time it is sold, it must be paid off before the sale can proceed.
The proposal has made it into the LTP consulation document but now we want to hear what you think about it ?
See Below On How To Make a Submission
What Else Is In The Long Term Plan?
There are eight proposals in the LTP on which we’re seeking feedback from our residents. We don’t consult on every project, just the ones that have a significant cost, high community interest or are different from what we said we’d do in our last long term plan three years ago. There are also some other issues we would like your views on relating to pest management and the coast. The feedback we receive from the public, and the council’s 10-year strategy, will guide the final decisions we as councillors make in June.
What About My Rates?
In year one of this long term plan we’re proposing a rates increase to existing ratepayers of 7.3 per cent. For 77 per cent of Waikato Regional Council ratepayers, the overall rates rise will be less than $1 a week. For some Thames Coromandel ratepayers the increases may be even more modest.
Have Your Say
Submissions on the Long Term Plan, the Regional Pest Management Plan and the Regional Coastal Plan are now open and can be made until 30 April 2021.
- download the LTP consultation document here
- submit issue by issue online here – (you will first have to login using Facebook/Twitter or by registering)
- use a printed form here
- or email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Need help? Call 0800 800 401
Denis Tegg — Waikato Regional Councillor for Thames Coromandel