Taieri farmers' quest for a greater rates contribution from
the wider community, in recognition of the significant
contribution their area makes to Dunedin, might be
Otago regional councillors will today consider a report
recommending the revenue policy for the lower Taieri flood
protection scheme remains the same.
That means the scheme will continue be funded 2% by the
general regional rate, 2% by a general Dunedin city rate and
96% by those who most benefit from the work.
The farmers made submissions to last year's draft long-term
plan asking for the general rate contribution to the Taieri
flood and drainage schemes be increased, some suggesting it
should be the same 7% contribution as the Leith flood
At the time, the council did not support a change in the
revenue policy for the drainage schemes, believing they
provided a ''wholly private benefit''.
However, the council decided to review the general rate
contribution to the scheme before this year's annual plan
process, which begins next month.
That review found an independent economic assessment of the
benefits could be done but at significant cost and would
result in all flood protection schemes being assessed to
When the council developed its funding policy in the late
1990s, it considered the public and private benefits.
It decided on 2% because the work ensures access to Dunedin
International Airport, and 2% because it provides protection
to the roading network. The rest was to be picked up by those
who directly benefited.
The Leith scheme received a 5% general regional rate
contribution and 2% from general rates, recognising the
potential flood effect on public assets such as the
university and hospital, the report said.
If it were to increase the general rate contribution to match
the Leith scheme, it would be saying the Lower Taieri
generated ''an equivalent amount of public benefit''.
''This is a matter of judgement and for the council to