Proposal 1: Helping you manage pests

Helping you manage pests


Changing service level and how we fund it

Keeping pests out and minimising the damage caused by established pests is essential to protect Otago’s diverse and internationally significant environment.

Pest management sits in our biodiversity activity. It supports Otago’s ability to enable thriving biodiversity (the variety of life in a given habitat), maintain healthy ecosystems and maximise natural resources for economic gain.

Under the Biosecurity Act 1993, Otago’s Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) identifies 51 species to be managed by land occupiers, with oversight from us.

Pest management focuses on five activity areas: exclusion, eradication, containment, sustained control, and supporting the site-led community control of pest plants and animals.

STICKING WITH THE STATUS QUO IS NOT AN OPTION

Our resourcing for pest management in biosecurity doesn’t meet community expectations or achieve the Regional Pest Management Plan’s (RPMP) intended outcomes. Inadequate resourcing limits opportunities to enhance biodiversity and support economic productivity.

To achieve Otago’s objectives in biosecurity and biodiversity, increased investment and increasing our resourcing capacity and capability is needed to undertake new areas of work and expand services.

Photograph of a wallaby amongst some bracken, which is a pest in Otago


What should we deliver?

We’ve prepared two service delivery options for you to choose from. Each represents a different level of investment in year 1 of the LTP and timeframe for implementation.

Each option spreads the impact of increased resourcing so that we can meet our legislative requirements, strategic goals and, most importantly, better meet community expectations.


Option 1

Cost: $4.6 million from year 1 onwards


Option 2 (PREFERRED)

Cost: $3.3 million from year 1 onwards

An immediate and significant increase in capacity and capability to manage pests.

This enables us to rapidly plan and deliver a more comprehensive education, engagement and enforcement approach to manage pests identified in our RPMP. It features:

  • More ORC team members covering a wider area and engaging directly with landowners and community groups
  • More inspections and compliance checks, education for landowners on their responsibilities, facilitating landowner-led rabbit control operations, and monitoring and evaluating the environmental impact
  • Support for community-led rabbit control, like rabbit control training and subsidies
  • Continuing partnerships to maintain the gains already achieved by OSPRI’s TBfree work and Predator Free Dunedin
  • New areas of biosecurity focus, such as marine biosecurity and dedicated biosecurity advisers for wilding conifer control
  • Provision of practical information and tools to assist landowners with biosecurity (including rabbit control)
  • Risk assessment for non-established pests and pest pathways into Otago
  • Development of a Regional Wilding Conifer Management Strategy, and Freshwater Lake Management Plan


A moderate increase in staff capacity to undertake more education, engagement and enforcement to manage pests.

This option means building capacity and capability over three years. It's largely based on Option 1 but includes the following adjustments:

  • Continuing partnerships to maintain the gains already achieved by OSPRI’s TBfree work and Predator Free Dunedin, starting after 2022-23
  • The support provided to ensure community-led responses are successful is reduced (compared to Option 1). Support includes building knowledge on control techniques, facilitating large-scale control efforts and provision of community grants to enable action
  • The number of new community-led responses that we can help start each year is reduced (compared to Option 1)
  • New areas of biosecurity focus – including marine biosecurity and dedicated biosecurity advisers for wilding conifer control, starting after 2022-23
  • Development of a Regional Wilding Conifer Management Strategy, and Freshwater Lake Management Plan, starting after 2022-23


Photograph of a plant called Old Man's Beard, which is a pest species in Otago


How we will fund increased service for pest management?

To date, our biosecurity service has been funded via general rates. This means every ratepayer in Otago pays a share of the total spend based on the capital value of each property.

The issues associated with the status quo are:

  • It isn’t consistent with the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP), which reflects a principled approach based on equity between who benefits and who pays
  • The capital value based general rate provides a disproportionate benefit to rural landowners
  • It’s difficult to establish reserve funds for biosecurity
  • There is no transparency on the rating bill


WE ARE PROPOSING THREE OPTIONS FOR FUNDING PEST MANAGEMENT FROM 1 JULY 2021:


Option A

Regional General Rate based on capital value (CV)

This option reflects how we currently fund biosecurity activities, where all property owners across the region pay a share of biosecurity costs based on the capital value of their property. In general, this sees urban areas with higher concentrations of capital and low demand for or low direct benefit from our biosecurity service, yet paying an equal share.





Option B (PREFERRED)

Regional Targeted Rate - biosecurity activity costs are shared across all ratepayers based on their land value (LV)

This option would change how we currently fund biosecurity activities and would see all property owners across the region paying a share of biosecurity costs based on the value of land owned. In general, the larger the land ownership the more benefit that is likely to be gained from our biosecurity service.




Option C

Mixed rating - biosecurity activity costs are split 50:50. Half is paid as a targeted rate by rural and lifestyle ratepayers via land value. The other half is applied to all ratepayers via the general rate (capital value).

This option also changes how we currently fund biosecurity activities and aligns more closely with how we consider the benefits from our increased biosecurity service level match the cost for property owners. However, over time our work programme and priorities can change, along with the alignment of who benefits, which is why we’re not recommending this option.







How will this impact your rates?

The following tables show how much each service delivery option would cost in future rates based on the different funding options. The key comparison is between rural/lifestyle properties and other properties (mainly residential) across a range of capital values.

The average column gives another perspective by showing the average capital value. As rural/lifestyle properties are on average higher value than other properties, they pay more under a CV general rate but this doesn't fairly reflect the additional benefits they receive from the activity. The two targeted rate options take this into account.

In both Options 1 and 2, funding Option A is higher as no targeted rate reserve is available.

TABLE – Option 1 $4.6 million total spend from year 1 onwards Under funding Option A, where a general rate would be applied to the capital value of a property; a property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $19.21, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $38.41, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $54.88, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $219.51. The average rural or lifestyle property would pay $79.96 and the average other property would pay $36.66. The total rates collected under Option A would be $4,400,000. Under our preferred option, funding Option B, where a regional targeted rate would be applied to the land value of a property; a rural or lifestyle property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $18.36, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $32.92, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $49.61, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $257.76. The average rural or lifestyle property would pay $90.40. The other category of property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $13.75, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $29.27, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $46.62, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $195.85. The average property would pay $26.63. The total rates collected under Option B would be $3,650,000. Under funding Option C, where a mixed rate is applied; a rural or lifestyle property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $34.36, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $63.24, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $94.05, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $461.50. The average rural or lifestyle property would pay $163.09. The other category of property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $7.97, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $15.93, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $22.76, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $91.05. The average property would pay $15.21. The total rates collected under Option C would be $3,650,000.
TABLE – Option 2 $3.3 million total spend from year 1 onwards Under funding Option A, where a general rate would be applied to the capital value of a property; a property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $13.75, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $27.50, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $39.29, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $157.15. The average rural or lifestyle property would pay $57.24 and the average other property would pay $26.25. The total rates collected under Option A would be $3,150,000. Under our preferred option, funding Option B, where a regional targeted rate would be applied to the land value of a property; a rural or lifestyle property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $12.07, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $21.64, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $32.62, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $169.49. The average rural or lifestyle property would pay $59.44. The other category of property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $9.04, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $19.24, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $30.66, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $128.78. The average property would pay $17.51. The total rates collected under Option B would be $2,400,000. Under funding Option C, where a mixed rate is applied; a rural or lifestyle property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $22.59, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $41.58, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $61.84, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $303.45. The average rural or lifestyle property would pay $107.23. The other category of property with a capital value of $350,000 would pay $5.24, a capital value of $700,000 would pay $10.48, a capital value of $1,000,000 would pay $14.97, and a capital value of $4,000,000 would pay $59.87. The average property would pay $10.00. The total rates collected under Option C would be $2,400,000.



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