Support for ORC rates rise

Nearly two-thirds of Otago residents surveyed said a proposed 18% rates rise would have a "modest" or even less of an impact on their lives.

More than 70% want the Otago Regional Council to stay the course, stick to its long-term goals and build its capacity to do work, the council says.

The council released a summary of feedback on its 2022-23 annual plan consultation yesterday.

Over a month, 98 submissions were made and a further 33 written submissions were lodged by organisations from across Otago, the council said.

Deliberations started on Wednesday at a finance committee meeting, it said.

Deputy chairman Kevin Malcolm said submitters’ views would be given full consideration as councillors set the final rate figure.

The council sought feedback online, took feedback over the phone, and in person.

Respondents were asked to answer four questions, one optional, and they were given the opportunity to add general comment.

The issue of households’ ability to pay their annual rates bill found 63% of respondents said the effect was either modest or of little to no impact, it said.

More than 70% of submitters said there should be "no change" and the council should stay its present course and more than 60% said the council should stick to its long-term plan.

Former deputy chairman Michael Laws, who left the deputy chairman role to speak out against the present annual plan process, contacted the Otago Daily Times yesterday to offer an opposing view to the council statement.

"The ‘consultation’ was a charade," he said.

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