Bay of Plenty Regional Council has teamed up with local authorities to take a regional approach to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on households and the region as a whole.

Regional Council chairman Doug Leeder said a co-ordinated approach would be the key to regional success.

"We must ensure that we work together to reduce the impact on households while also ensuring that, as a region, we are best placed to help our economy recover and prosper."

He said regional council had not had an opportunity to meet to consider Rotorua Lakes Council's proposal of postponing fourth-quarter rates collection for Rotorua ratepayers.
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But said he did recognise that the circumstances for the Lakes district will mean many people and businesses will be severely impacted by the abrupt stop to international tourism.

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Regional council's councillors had previously given direction to limit any rates increases for 2020/2021 for all regional ratepayers.

However, he said regional council recognises that some of the territorial local authorities in the region may need to increase rates to support communities to recover from Covid-19.

"The work of local and regional councils will be key to the strong and sustainable recovery of our economies."

He said they were already planning the recovery phase and were looking to increase investment in key projects to stimulate community growth.

In the Rotorua district specifically, this included more funding for biosecurity as well as working with Te Arawa Lakes Trust to fund a Te Arawa Environmental Hub.
Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"We are working with the other councils in our region to identify infrastructure projects and other job-creation projects across the region."

He said there would be a special mayoral meeting held on April 14 to endorse "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects to be submitted to the Crown Infrastructure Partnership Group.

"Working together to identify these projects will put us in a better place to weather the economic storm of Covid-19."

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