1 Jun 2012

Gisborne mayor says Maori landowners were considered

8:29 pm on 1 June 2012

Gisborne mayor Meng Foon says the council has taken on board concerns by Maori landowners, about rates increasing by 50% in the Ruatoria area to help pay for a flood protection scheme.

Ngati Porou chairman Apirana Mahuika told the council this week the runanga supports the scheme, but it is unfair to make those who benefit most pay 90% of the cost.

He says the council failed to honour its Treaty obligation with the iwi as it did not consult adequately over rate rises.

Mr Foon admits staff did not meet with the runanga, but says they consulted extensively with locals, which included three meetings in Ruatoria.

He says the council has decided the cost of the scheme will now be shared more equitably.

Ratepayers in and around Ruatoria will for pay half, Gisborne residents will contribute 10% with the balance equally divided between other ratepayers on the east coast.

Mr Foon says that means rates in Ruatoria will only rise 10%.