COUNCIL

Year of solid progress

Tuesday 18 September 2012, 1:40PM
By Taranaki Regional Council
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TARANAKI

The Taranaki Regional Council today (18 September) adopted its Annual Report for 2011/2012, recording solid progress in its mission to ensure the region prospers and thrives.

The Chairman, David MacLeod, says monitoring during the year again showed Taranaki has a generally good and healthy environment that is being maintained and improved with time and investment.

“An important part of the Council’s role is deciding the most responsible way our natural resources can be used and developed so that the region’s economy can flourish while our environment is safeguarded and our lifestyles are enriched,” says Mr MacLeod.

Highlights during the year included:

  • Continued ramping-up of the region’s world-class Riparian Management Programme to protect and enhance freshwater quality, with 427,000 native plants supplied for streamside planting and an additional 387 km of streambanks fenced. “More needs to be achieved for us to meet regional targets but we must acknowledge the effort farmers have put in so far,” says Mr MacLeod.
  • A very positive report from the Officer of the Auditor-General on the Council’s approach to freshwater management, confirming that freshwater quality is being maintained and in some cases improved.

  • Budgeting for a zero rates rise in the 2012/2013 year, assisted by improved dividends from Port Taranaki Ltd. The Council finished the 2011/2012 year with a surplus of $0.32 million and no public debt.

 

 

Mr MacLeod says the year saw much public debate on the Council’s move to assume effective ownership of Yarrow Stadium.

“We listened carefully and in the end, it was clear that the Council should act in the community’s best interest to secure the future of what is clearly a regional facility used and enjoyed by people from all parts of Taranaki,” he says. “The stadium’s value was demonstrated during the Rugby World Cup and we all look forward to more exciting international fixtures.”

Hydraulic fracturing was also the subject of debate and Mr MacLeod says that while public discussion on such an issue is important, it needs to be based on science and fact.

“The Council’s own view, borne out by the UK’s respected Royal Society and others, is that when conducted properly, hydraulic fracturing presents an extremely small risk,” he says. “Our own monitoring has found no evidence of any direct impact from the limited amount of fracturing that has occurred in Taranaki.”

The Annual Report will be available online at www.trc.govt.nz at the Council’s office at 47 Cloten Rd, Stratford. It will also be available for inspection at District Council libraries and service centres across the region.

A summary will be published in community newspapers in mid-October.

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