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Increase to Council charges

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A series of adjustments have been made around Wairoa District Council’s fees and charges.

The changes relate to most of Council’s activities with the increases reflecting the actual costs of providing services.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive officer Kitea Tipuna said the increases are long overdue.

“Council has not increased its fees and charges across the board in a number of years and we needed to catch up with the cost of providing the service to our community.

“Most of the increases relate to a user pays principle so if you are a dog owner you will face increased fees, or if you are applying for a building consent you will be paying these costs at source rather than the cost of these services being absorbed across the board and subsidised by the ratepayer.

Increases will see a tweak in dog registrations with the cost of registering a standard dog, which includes most pets, companion, recreational, hunting and family dogs going up by $5 to $100 per dog, working dogs by $10 to $60, dangerous dogs by $30 to $415 and those dogs in the menacing category by $40 to $200.

Dog registration forms have been sent out and need to be paid before the end of August to avoid the $30 late payment fee.

Impounding fees have also been increased in order to recover costs.

Council has created a Selected Dog Owner Policy to reward responsible dog owners who are complying with Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw. Selected owner applications need to be in by May 1 prior to the year of registration, and if successful, selected owners will receive a 10% discount on dog registration, on top of Council’s early payment discount.

There are also increases for building control and building and drainage consents and property information, licencing, noise control complaints and resource planning.

Mr Tipuna explained that the costs of preparing information, analysing compliance and processing consents can be very time consuming and expensive.

Our fees and charges are in line with the actual costs of Council staff completing the required work and are also more aligned, and often cheaper, than our neighbouring districts.

The fees and charges review will also see price changes at the landfill which is a reflection of the Government’s Waste Levy increase which has resulted in an across-the-board increase by $10/tonne.

Mr Tipuna explained the increases at the landfill are out of Council’s control and are part of central Government’s drive to recognise the real costs of waste, make it fairer to everyone and incentivise materials reuse and recycling.

The reviewed charging became effective on July 1 with the updated pricing structure available on Council’s website.

5 July 2021

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