SDC jetty fees to be reviewed

Oban, Stewart Island. Photo: Getty Images
Stewart Island. Photo: Getty Images
The Southland District Council is set to review its charging method for non-recreational jetty use on Stewart Island.

Its services and assets committee will discuss options for changing the charging method at its meeting today.

While councillors will not determine appropriate funding sources for jetties or decide the amount of the fee for non-recreational use, they will come up with a way to calculate a fee.

At present, commercial users of the jetties hold a licence from the council to use the jetties for commercial purposes, allowing them the non-exclusive use of the jetties for embarkation and disembarkation of passengers and for the loading and unloading of goods.

The annual licence fee is $1350.

In 2017, the Stewart Island/Rakiura jetties subcommittee suggested a new charging regime for non-recreational jetty use, based on patronage, might be more appropriate.

The three options the committee will consider are: a base fee with an additional charge based on the number of passengers carried for each vessel; a base fee with an additional charge based on vessel tonnage for each vessel; or keeping the current method, by which each vessel is charged a licence fee annually.

While the first option was preferred by the Stewart Island/Rakiura board and subcommittee, the council has recommended the second option.

Coastal permits for the jetties do not allow the council to charge non-recreational jetty users, which means the licence fee does not comply with the permits.

The council will need to seek amendments to the permits to enable a charging regime.

That process has begun and is likely to be completed in the coming months. The charging method will be amended only if the coastal permits are updated.

A decision will be sought from council to endorse a charging method to include in the draft long-term plan 2021-31.

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