Regional rates will rise by almost 6 per cent.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council adopted its long-term plan for 2015-25 at a meeting yesterday.

Five of nine councillors voted for a total average rate increase of 5.87 per cent for the new financial year.

It followed lengthy debate on the item by councillors for and against the size of the overall increase, totalling $919,000.


While concerned at the level of the overall rates increase, council chairman Fenton Wilson supported the outcomes the council was working to balance.

"We went into this process with a lower rate increase in mind but have been mindful of delivering what the community want," he said.

The key programmes and activities named in April's draft plan indicated a rate increase of 3.95 per cent.

However, strong commitment to tourism from the community and sector groups pushed for more funding dedicated to tourism and consequently a higher increase.

For all households and rural properties, this will mean an increase in the economic development rate of $3.75 per property in the next financial year, from July 1.

"We repeatedly hear how much tourism adds to the GDP [gross domestic product] of Hawke's Bay, being second only to our primary industry.

"I am confident that, with a strong focus on HBRC's core environmental, social and economic development work, including support for a high-performing tourism sector, we can help make this region more prosperous," Mr Wilson said.

Other programmes proposed to benefit from funding include environmental management and monitoring, biodiversity, pest control, regional parks, land management and emergency management.


The council's long-term plan adoption provides a mandatory tourism increase of $300,000 for 2015-16, with indicative additional tourism increases of $300,000 in years two and three of this planning round.

The spread of the rate increase is an average of 5.73 per cent for urban ratepayers, 6.85 per cent for rural ratepayers and 10.77 per cent for commercial ratepayers. Rate increases of 5.69 per cent and 5.51 per cent are indicated for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 financial years.