Horizons Regional Council ratepayers are facing an average 8.4 per cent rate hike for the coming year.
On Wednesday the council adopted its long-term plan, a document that will manage the region's land, air and water resources through to 2031.
Rates for year 1 of the plan will increase by an average of 8.4 per cent across the region, an average of 8.2 per cent for year 2, and an average of 6.5 per cent for year 3.
"Our average rates increases are some of the largest we have ever proposed and something council hasn't taken lightly," chairwoman Rachel Keedwell said.
"It is important to keep in mind that these rate increases are only an average and the rate impact will differ from district to district due to factors such as changes to property values, and specific rating inputs such as river schemes and urban passenger transport rates for certain areas."
Keedwell said the council had big work programmes to deliver over the next decade, many of which were "unprecedented in terms of scale and pace".
"However, these activities will provide an opportunity to accelerate improvements to our fresh water, biodiversity, and resilience to flooding, address climate change concerns, and enhance the way our passengers commute around and through our region," Keedwell said.
Whanganui councillor Nicola Patrick said she was pleased Horizons was "finally making progress on climate change".
"I'm looking forward to seeing action progress there, particularly working across the region with councils," Patrick said.
"Our partnerships with iwi and hapū are growing, and I'm fortunate to be involved with Te Kōpuka for Te Awa Tupua and with Ngā Puna Rau o Rangitīkei.
"I'm also looking forward to being involved with the Whangaehu River entity, Te Waiū-o-te-Ika."
In total, there were 430 submissions to the draft plan, feedback on 2263 submission points, and hearings for 46 individuals and organisations.
Keedwell said the council heard from a large number of "passionate community members" during the consultation process.
"Following submissions and deliberations, council has identified which work programmes we will continue and which will require increased expenditure.
"This includes additional funding for council's priorities areas of freshwater, climate change and biodiversity, as well as public transport, environmental education and some changes to river management schemes."
There was also a financial commitment to Covid-recovery projects that would progress environmental projects the council already had planned or under way, Keedwell said.
Central Government had provided a significant contribution to this work and the council had committed a local share of $1.34 million in year 1 of the long-term plan.
Other funding has been diverted towards the council's new Kanorau Koiora Taketake - Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant, a contestable fund of $260,000.
The effort to improve freshwater quality had been thanks in large to additional Government funding via Mahi mō te Taiao-Jobs for Nature, Patrick said.
"I'm chairing two additional governance groups with community reps to oversee part of this work, so it's exciting to have extra attention going into this vital space.
"I'm pleased to be connected to a farmer-driven group for the Whanganui West Catchment Group Incorporated Society for the Mowhanau area catchments."
Patrick said she was active in supporting the planned improvements to Whanganui's public transport, and she would pick up on flood resilience work and Te Pūwaha -Whanganui's Port Revitalisation.
"More broadly, we have the RMA [Resource Management Act] review and local government changes that have potential to be huge," Patrick said.