Feed­back sought on loan

The Bay Chronicle - - CONVERSATIONS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Northland Re­gional Coun­cil is seek­ing feed­back on a pro­posal to pro­vide Northland Emer­gency Ser­vices Trust with a $9.8 mil­lion loan, to help fund two res­cue he­li­copters for the re­gion.

With its cur­rent he­li­copters need­ing to be re­placed soon, NEST has found two suit­able avail­able for pur­chase.

Coun­cil chair­man Bill Shep­herd says the re­gional coun­cil is for­tu­nate to have ac­cess to bet­ter in­ter­est rates (through the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Fund­ing Agency) than NEST could get else­where.

Un­der the pro­posal, the coun­cil would use a por­tion of this low­in­ter­est bor­row­ing ca­pac­ity to give NEST a $9.8 mil­lion loan for the two res­cue he­li­copters, sav­ing NEST around $200,000 a year in in­ter­est over the five-year pe­riod of the loan.

While it would tie-up about half of coun­cil’s cur­rent low­in­ter­est bor­row­ing ca­pac­ity, the pro­posed loan would have no im­pact on peo­ple’s rates.

The re­gional coun­cil has sup­ported the res­cue he­li­copter ser­vice for the past eight years through a tar­geted rate, and cur­rently pro­vides NEST with $525,000 per year from its con­testable fund for emer­gency ser­vices.

‘‘This loan would be an ad­di­tional way we can sup­port NEST and the pro­vi­sion of emer­gency air res­cue ser­vices in Northland,’’ Shep­herd says.

Visit nrc.govt.nz/ he­li­copter­loan

The Northland Re­gional Coun­cil is seek­ing feed­back on a pro­posed res­cue he­li­copter loan.

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