Regional councillors and the district's mayor are at odds over how significant facilities should be funded in the region.

Hamish McDouall and six other mayors in the Manawatu-Whanganui region have asked Horizons Regional Council to consider charging rates across the region to fund facilities which are of benefit to more than one district.

Mr McDouall spoke to Horizons councillors recently and told the Chronicle it was based on the idea that the entire region should contribute to some facilities.

Read more: Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall helps open new Churton School bike track
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall's free trip to Taiwan

Advertisement

"No one else needs a velodrome, we've just got to look after the one (Whanganui's) got.

"And no one else needs a racing track, we've just got to look after Manfeild. They're regional facilities."

Horizons narrowly voted to put the idea out to public consultation as part of its long term plan.

But Whanganui's representatives on Horizons - David Cotton and Nicola Patrick - are opposed to the idea.

"I'm absolutely miffed to be fair," Horizons councillor David Cotton said.

"It's just not core business, it's just not a road we want to go down and we should never have put it in the long term plan.

"Rate rises are already well above inflation and has been for some time with the regional council."

Mr Cotton said he supported the velodrome project and the central government and district council funding which has been flagged.

"I think it's a very worthwhile cause and I wish them all the very best in raising the funds.

"[But] if we are to finance $2 million to a sports facility in Whanganui, how is that fair and equitable to the farmer in Ruapehu and the person who lives in Dannevirke?

"In the short term the Whanganui ratepayer may think this is a windfall but what happens when Manfeild wants $6 million?"

Ms Patrick said she supported regional funding for things such as water or sustainable land management but not facilities.

"I just think that broadens our focus and weakens our ability to make better, faster progress with important issues like water quality," she said.

"We want to be able to do everything but to do everything comes at a cost."

However, Mr McDouall said Horizons was best placed to collect region-wide rates.

"I'm not going to pretend it's easy but the idea of Whanganui ratepayers alone paying for the velodrome … we can't just keep on doing this as a single district council.

"We've got to find a better way to spread the capital load over a greater number of people."

He said there had been discussion about setting up a fund between the seven district councils if there was a "failure of political will".