Climate change, the management of pests and targeted rates affordability were key themes shared by submitters at Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Long Term Plan hearings.

More than 70 people presented their submissions to the council last week. Regional council chairman Doug Leeder said it was valuable for the council to hear people's views and see the passion that people had about the region.

"It's clear from what we've heard and what we've been reading in all the submissions that we've got some work to do around climate change in setting the direction the council has to take.

"We also heard from many people that we should be upping our work in the biosecurity space ... so we'll be looking at how we do this while keeping rates at a level that the community can afford."


Leeder said the council would now take three days next week to deliberate before deciding on the submissions. The final plan, which sets our work for the next three years will then be adopted late June.

Leeder said the council heard presentations from a number of organisations seeking funding from its Community Initiatives Fund.

"Again, we've got some tough decisions ahead of us as the amount of funding sought has far exceeded the amount we have to give."

The council has budgeted approximately $500,000 for community funding each year for the next three years, made up of $200,000 for the Community Initiatives Fund and $300,000 for Environmental Enhancement Funding. Another $2.7 million has been sought by groups for the Community Initiatives Funding over this period.