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Three Year Plan - Road to Recovery

Our Three Year Plan consultation closed on 12 May 2024. Thank you to our community who took the time to provide feedback on our proposed options.

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Te Kaunihera a rohe o Tamatea / Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed Three Year Plan – Road to Recovery.

The plan sets out what services and projects Council plans to provide, the community outcomes it is contributing to and what the costs, required revenue and rates would need to be over the next three years as we recover from the cyclone.

To learn more about the Three Year Plan:

  • download the full Three Year Plan or the consultation document Road to Recovery;
  • you can read copies of the document at our Libraries and Service centres

To provide feedback, please complete a submission form before 11.59 pm on 12 May 2024. You can make a submission by completing the survey on this page here.

In 2016, Council worked with the community on their goals and aspirations for the district to create the Project Thrive vision. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and Cyclone Gabrielle, Central Hawke’s Bay has made steady progress on the key focus areas identified in that vision, and those goals and aspirations continue to drive our investment decisions in infrastructure and services.

In 2021, the community told us they wanted to prioritise investment in ageing water infrastructure. Since then, we’ve worked on essential upgrades and renewals across the district to deliver critical investment. A new regulator, Taumata Arowai, introduced new standards that we must meet. We’ve continued to prioritise the most critical water and wastewater projects in this Three Year Plan. Milestones over the last three years include:

  • 5.9 km of wastewater pipe installed or replaced since 2021.
  • 1,640 properties and 21 km of pipe investigated for wastewater leaks and defects since 2021.
  • the removal of Otāne wastewater discharge from the Papanui Catchment in 2022.
  • a new Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) installed for improved Waipawa Wastewater Treatment Plant compliance in 2022.
  • Takapau wastewater treatment site consented in 2022.
  • rebuilding of the Waipawa/Otāne drinking water plant after it was flooded during Cyclone Gabrielle.
  • the opening of a new water treatment plant at Kairakau in 2023.

Since 2021 we have been taking a planned, long-term approach to addressing the significant investment required in our stormwater networks. Stormwater networks are the urban drainage networks that service our townships and do not include rural roadside drainage. Through our recovery community conversations following Cyclone Gabrielle, we clearly heard the need to urgently boost investment in stormwater, rather than taking a longer-term incremental approach. This Three Year Plan proposes to nearly double our investment in stormwater. Milestones over the last three years include:

  • replacing/relining stormwater pipelines in Francis Drake Street and Jellicoe Street to Tavistock Road in Waipukurau.
  • developing a stormwater model to understand network improvements.
  • completing the Nelson Street stormwater upgrade in Waipukurau.

Since Cyclone Gabrielle we’ve already completed:

  • 2 km of pipe (5% of the stormwater network) flushed to assess condition and remove blockages.
  • 4 km of stormwater bed excavated (25% of the network).
  • 5 km of vegetation cleared (31% of the network).

Over the past three years, extreme weather and Cyclone Gabrielle have created more than $170 million worth of damage across Central Hawke's Bay's 1,265-kilometre roading network. While Central Government funding has helped, there is still $129 million of unfunded damage remaining. Despite the challenges, we’ve made some big gains on our road to recovery. Milestones over the last two years include:

  • $20.1 million in funding for the Pōrangahau and Wimbledon Roads upgrade.
  • 2,134 km of roads graded to improve driving surface and drainage.
  • 7,748 m3 of metal applied to strengthen roads.
  • 26,920 potholes repaired.
  • 148.5 km of roads resurfaced or resealed.
  • $2 million spent cleaning culverts and drains.
  • 2,000 road signs installed or repaired.
  • 735 m of culverts renewed or enlarged.
  • 4 bridges repaired or strengthened.

What are our options?

While there are few options for managing increasing costs, we do have some choices on how to balance getting essential mahi done with affordability for our community.

The plan proposes three levels of service options for Council services and projects it could deliver over the next three years and what those options would cost. The three options for levels of service across land transport, water and wastewater, stormwater and other Council services are: 

Untitled design 2024 04 12T132841.520

Trade-off areas

We've already made a number of tough calls to get to this point but the service level options above are determined by further decisions on whether to reduce or increase investment across four areas. 

While Cyclone Gabrielle caused major damage to our roads, prior to the cyclone we already had damage from 2022, which was the ‘wettest year on record’. We’re proposing increases to the land transport activity to address the major backlog of maintenance issues. We’ve got options to reduce or speed up that programme.


Sorting land trasnport

Water and wastewater services are a major driver of costs with $600 of the total rate increase for urban ratepayers in Year 1 relating to Three Waters. There are few options to reduce the rating impact of this activity. In the three budget options, we’ve proposed options to accelerate more investment in critical Three Waters repairs or make further operational reductions.

drinking water and waste

Prior to Cyclone Gabrielle, we’d already begun to increase investment across our stormwater networks, beginning to fund stormwater activities in some locations for the first time in 2021. We’re proposing a major step change in our investment in urban stormwater, offset by external funding in the first year.

prioritising stormwater

Even in the Central Option we’ve made significant reductions across services and activities to arrive at a 20.0% budget option. This includes closing transfer stations, reducing library hours and delaying upgrades in our open spaces.

service reductions

National, regional and local context

Councils across the country are currently consulting on 10-year Long Term Plans (2024-2034). However, Government has given special leave to cyclone-affected councils, like Central Hawke's Bay, to produce a Three Year Plan (2024-2027) that focuses on recovery.

Times are tough. The cost-of-living crisis and the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle have hit households and businesses across the country hard. 

The same costs that are impacting households are impacting Council. Since the last Long Term Plan (2021-2031), we've faced a pandemic, experienced a devastating cyclone and seen the cost of infrastructure and operations skyrocket:

Untitled 1080 x 600 px 1Council is doing everything it can to reduce rate increases but there are core services and assets that are vital to our community wellbeing and our options on how to fund those are limited. While we have received some initial Central Government funding toward repairing our roading network after Cyclone Gabrielle, there is another $129 million of repairs yet to fund. 

Council initially indicated a 24% rate increase was possible, but we've been able to reduce this to 20% by supplementing our costs through $2.4 million of external 'Better Off Funding' received as part of the Three Waters Reform Programme. We've used this to:

  • fund vital stormwater upgrades, saving urban ratepayers an additional $260 in Year 1.
  • progress some priority community activation projects, such as the Harker Street Reinstatement, Waipawa town centre implementation plan and Russell Park Master Plan implementation.
  • maintain Council services that we would have had to pause, such as the rural recycling trailers.

Would you like to have a chat with one of your representatives?

You can email any one of your Council representatives below. They are happy to discuss the options of the Three Year Plan with you and hear your feedback.

Alex Walker

Alex Walker


Kelly Annand

Kelly Annand

Deputy Mayor

Tim Aitken

Tim Aitken


Pip  Burne

Pip Burne


Jerry Greer

Jerry Greer


Gerard  Minehan

Gerard Minehan


Exham Wichman

Exham Wichman


Brent Muggeridge

Brent Muggeridge


Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor



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