Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Alex Walker welcomes this week's announcement of the Regional Planning Framework for Te Matau a Māui - Hawke’s Bay, and says that the strength of the plan will come from the partnership between local communities, iwi leaders, regional organisations, and government that is grounded in planning and delivery at a local level.
Mayor Walker is also Co-Chair of Te Matau a Māui Hawke’s Bay Matariki Governance Group, and says that the crucial importance of a locally led recovery is underlined by the way Cyclone Gabrielle has impacted everyone in the region differently - from North to South and East to West.
“The damage we’ve seen is unique to Central Hawke’s Bay. Where other Hawke’s Bay communities were buried in silt, we have farms buried in gravel where the Waipawa River diverted into the Papanui. The sheer force and volume of water in flood through Pōrangahau, Waipawa, Waipukurau and rural riverside properties, add up to a recovery and rebuild scenario unique to our district,” says Mayor Alex Walker.
Mayor Walker also pointed to the challenge faced by the small Central Hawke’s Bay population to repair deep damage across much of the 1,200km of local roading network.
“Not only are we going to need government financial support for our roading, we are also going to need to work across the region on how we prioritise council, contractor and subcontractor resources to get things done sensibly."
“This model of collaboration, rather than top-down regulation and direction, is both effective and empowering,” says Mayor Alex Walker. "I'm proud of the strong leadership relationships across the region that have built the recovery framework."
Read the full press release from the Matariki Governance Group here
15 March 2023
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