Frequently Asked Questions

ORC is required under the Local Government Act to produce a Long Term Plan which signals the council’s planned work programmes for the next 10 years.

The consultation document describes the key issues that we are facing over the term of the plan.

Anyone can make a submission to the council up until May 4. You can also choose to speak about your submission at a council hearing during the week beginning May 11.

Make a submission online or download the form and post it to us with your comments.

The document can be viewed and downloaded online. You can also pick up a copy from our offices in Dunedin, Queenstown and Alexandra, or at a city or district council service centre.

If you’d like a hard copy, phone us on 0800 474 082 or email us at and we will send you one.

Yes. If you want to highlight points you have made in your submission, you can do so in person to the hearings committee made up of ORC councillors. Hearings start in the week beginning May 11. Once you have indicated on your submission form that you want to speak to your submission in person, we will advise you when and where to come.

The council hearings committee will deliberate on the submissions and make recommendations which the full council will consider at a meeting on June 24. Once the plan has been approved by the council, it then takes effect on 1 July 2015.

The council faces a number of key issues that have financial impacts for ratepayers.

They include:

  • The increasing agricultural and demand for water
  • Fulfilling the Otago community’s desire for the region to have high quality waterways
  • The investment needed to continue developing the Leith flood protection scheme in north Dunedin
  • The need to invest in new assets such as pumps to maintain the performance of our other existing flood schemes.

The council will:

  • Financially support community-led investigations into the feasibility of new irrigation or water storage scheme options, and continue to stress the importance of landholders adopting more efficient use of water
  • Invest in science and technological methods that support good water quality in our waterways
  • Invest in monitoring equipment and work to help landowners meet the new water quality rules by 2020
  • Use internal borrowings to complete the construction of the Leith flood scheme by 2019-20 and targeted rates to repay this borrowings over 20 years to 2029/30.

The plan includes programmes that benefit the wider Otago community. For example, the council intends to invest about $1 million over the next three years in research and development into improving Otago’s water quality and for investigating new means of controlling pest animals and plants.

About $2.1 million will be spent on improvements to Dunedin’s bus network and infrastructure. A review of Queenstown’s bus services is planned to assess how it could be improved.

We’ll continue with our upgrades to the Leith flood protection scheme, which apart from making the university precinct and adjoining city areas more attractive, will protect the Dunedin central business district whenever the Leith floods.

Our investments are focussed on essential services that support the region’s prosperity.

Our aim is to balance care for the environment with sustaining the region’s main industries – including tourism, farming, forestry, fruit-growing, wine-making, and manufacturing - which we all depend on to do well if they are to help support our way of life.

The 2015-2025 LTP signals a planned 5.2 percent increase in the general rate and the proposed introduction of two new targeted rates.

The proposed general rate requires each household to pay, on average, an extra $2.20 in general rates compared to 2014-15.

The total general rate increase for the 2015-16 year is around $260,000.

General rates on a $250,000 capital value home with a 5.2% rate increase 2015/16 2014/15
Central Otago $33.68 $31.91
Clutha District $31.53 $32.70
Dunedin City $38.26 $36.71
Queenstown Lakes $31.42 $31.66
Waitaki District $32.21 $32.21
For a $600,000 capital value 2015/16 2014/15
Central Otago $60.78 $57.31
Clutha District $55.61 $59.20
Dunedin City $71.77 $68.83
Queenstown Lakes $55.35 $56.73
Waitaki District $57.25 $58.04

Rates above include the Uniform Annual General Charge of $14.32, and GST.

Estimate rates for your property for the 2015/2016 rating year by using the 2015/2016 Rates Estimator.

General rates are applied to fund activities that benefit everyone generally, and targeted rates fund activities where there is a defined area of benefit, or a defined group benefiting from an activity.

All ratepayers pay general rates, which includes a Uniform Annual General Charge.

Depending on where you live, you may, for example, also pay targeted rates for flood protection and drainage works, the provision of bus services, or a targeted rate for improving air quality.

ORC has 18 targeted rates spread over ratepayers who benefit directly from river management works, flood and drainage schemes, and public transport services.

There are two new targeted rates proposed.

Managing the increasing pressures on rivers, lakes, aquifers, and significant wetlands.

Community consultations on new water quality rules in the Water Plan have made it clear people want us to make sure Otago’s waterways are safe for swimming and food gathering - so that everyone can use and enjoy them.

One of the new targeted rates, calculated on a capital value basis on certain rural land types, is proposed to contribute to the cost of additional water quality monitoring and new science work that will help us achieve good water quality.

ORC has a programme of monitoring dairy farms because of the potential risks of dairying activity on our water quality. The second new targeted rate will fund all of the costs of this monitoring. In 2015-16 this monitoring will cost about $192,000.

Every dairy farm in Otago will have at least one monitoring visit to ensure their activity is not adversely affecting water quality. Some dairy farms may require two or more monitoring visits in a year.

The targeted rate payable per property will depend on the number of visits required to that property in a year.

For one visit a year the rate payable will be $235, for two visits $470 and for three or more visits $705. The number of visits is based on the quality of the water in the farms catchment. View the dairy monitoring map for more information.

The draft LTP sets about implementing the programme of improvements outlined in the Otago Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). This includes changes to the Dunedin public transport network and a complete review of the Queenstown public transport network.

Council has included a number of significant improvements which (subject to NZTA approval) will be jointly funded from ORC’s transport reserve and NZTA subsidy including:

  • The development of a central bus hub in Dunedin is planned for 2016. The hub will provide a central location providing better co-ordination and easy transfer between services. It is proposed that the hub will be a quality shelter with toilets, signage, timetable information, card top facilities, and real-time bus information when that system is introduced.
  • A new ticketing system planned for 2016. It will include a number of new features such as tag-on tag-off and online top-up, both of which will assist in significantly improving boarding times and service reliability.
  • Investment in a real-time bus travel information system with web-based bus tracking and timetable prediction capability.

When the new ticketing system is implemented, we will introduce a new five-zone 5 fare structure. A copy of the proposed fare for 2016 and a map showing the boundaries of each zone is available on this website.

No new concessions are planned at this stage. Information on our various existing concession fares is available on this website.

Great King Street between Moray Place and St Andrew Street has been identified as the preferred location. If implemented, this will result in the removal of all but a few temporary on-street parks.

Further investigation is currently being undertaken to confirm the suitability of this location and to identify any necessary roading changes.