Lake Hayes restoration bill should be region-wide

All Otago residents should pay for the restoration of Lake Hayes, Friends of Lake Hayes says.

The Otago Regional Council’s proposal to introduce a new targeted rate for residents in the Lake Hayes area, including Shotover Country, was “fundamentally flawed”, Richard Bowman said.

He spoke on behalf of Friends of Lake Hayes chairman Mike Hanff during hearings for the council’s long-term plan 2021-31 yesterday.

Mr Hanff said a new rate should be allocated across all of Otago to fund the $3.5 million the council was proposing to spend on improving the lake’s degrading water quality.

“This funding approach should be applied not just to Lake Hayes, but to any water body in the region where a community is seeking an integrated catchment management approach to water quality remediation.”

Friends of Lake Hayes also “strongly” disagreed with the option of using an existing river and water management target rate to fund the work, Mr Hanff said.

The proposal runs counter to not only the Otago Regional Council’s proposal for a targeted rate for Lake Hayes residents, but also Forest & Bird and Fish & Game, which has said polluters should be held to account.

The group said the restoration work would cost $14million, while the council has proposed a $3.5million budget.


No, primarily it should be polluter pays (or those that directly benefitted), then user pays (i.e. those who live close and gain the benefit of the resource, whether that is as the amenity, increased property values or tourism benefits), and finally perhaps a small contribution from regional rates.