The Northland Regional Council's Long-Term Plan has attracted more than 2200 submissions on a number of issues, including water, pests and flood infrastructure funding.
Submissions close on Tuesday week and the regional councillors will deliberate on the LTP proposals, including all public feedback, at a meeting on May 16. The meeting will be open to the public but they won't be able to actively take part, including commenting or asking questions.
NRC is proposing an average rates increase of 29 per cent, excluding targeted levies on local transport and flooding.
NRC chairman Bill Shepherd said the council was impressed by – and appreciative of – the level of community interest in its proposals.
"It's great to get such a large amount of feedback and council will now be very carefully reading the reasoning people have provided when making their submissions; in a nutshell, we want to know why you think what you think."
Shepherd describes the LTP as "ambitious", saying it reflected community calls for the council to do more to clean up waters, protect native species and provide better flood protection.
While rates would have to rise to cover the costs of this work, he said initial indications were there was strong support for the "big three" region-wide consultation topics of water, pests and flood infrastructure funding.
NRC last month also held a series of "Have Your Say" events around the region enabling people to give feedback direct to councillors.
Those events were held in Whangarei, Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Kaitaia, Dargaville and Mangawhai, with attendance varying from just a single person at Mangawhai to more than 60 in Kaitaia.
Once all submissions have been formally logged and recorded, NRC staff will compile a report for councillors, who would also be provided with copies of all 2200-plus submissions.
The LTP outlines options to pay for water quality, flood protection and pest control as the NRC wants to increase its rates collection from 5 per cent to 10 per cent annually to meet increasing demand and to grow its work.
NRC is proposing to introduce a new rate of $55.37 a year on properties in and around flood-prone areas in Kawakawa, Moerewa and Otiria.
In Whangarei, the NRC is proposing $1m of new work to reduce flood overflows on Commerce St and to create a wetland.