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Road to Recovery FAQs

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The majority of roads in the district are historic roads that were never designed or constructed to a specific or required standard. Road networks form over time from access tracks forged to connect communities and as usage changes and increases, infrastructure is renewed to maintain or improve the route for the service required. This means that some roads are built on aged foundations and often follow rivers, coastlines and valleys, which can increase the impact of water during a storm. Steep terrain means many of our roads are often on slopes, making them more vulnerable to slips and dropouts. Central Hawke’s Bay is susceptible to weather events and the impact on our roads is an unfortunate consequence.

In the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle wreaking havoc on the district’s roads, Council’s focus was on restoring access to closed routes and making roads safe for users, involving clearing materials, installing signage or positioning one-way controls. Following this initial response work, efforts were focused on clearing materials from roads, ensuring drains and culverts were operating correctly, and completing minor repairs to the roading network. Permanent repairs that require roads to be reinstated, routes altered or walls built all require thorough an investigation, design and construction process. This takes time but ensures that any repairs and solutions are well planned and durable. Funding challenges also mean that some sites are currently unfunded. More information on how the Council’s work addressing our cyclone-impacted roads is being funded is detailed below.

Our roading network plays a crucial role in our community's safety and accessibility, so ensuring that it remains in serviceable condition is a top priority for us. We currently have two buckets of cyclone recovery-related funding available to carry out repairs to the district’s roading network, one for ‘Planned Response’ work and one for ‘Recovery’, both of which sit outside the funding for general road maintenance and repairs. Waka Kotahi has committed to funding our Planned Response work for repairs required as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle to the sum of $35.94 million. This substantial sum is funded 100% by Waka Kotahi and is available until the end of June 2024.

We have also received $11 million from the Crown as part of the National Resilience Plan's ‘Recovery’ funding category. This second amount of funding will play a significant role in rehabilitating four key complex repairs in the district, which have suffered due to the extreme weather events of the past year.

Separate to the post-cyclone response and recovery programme, general land transport road maintenance and repairs are joint funded by Waka Kotahi and Council via local ratepayers’ contributions. Waka Kotahi provides Council a FAR (funding assistance rate) of 59% of funds to complete general maintenance and repairs on our roading network, and we fund the balance of 41%. When the district undergoes a state of emergency or significant weather event such as Cyclone Gabrielle, Waka Kotahi will enhance the FAR and provide us with a higher percentage.

We prioritise repairs to the roading network by assessing the site’s impact to road users, factoring how severe the damage is and therefore how much the road user is impacted, and how many people use the road and are therefore impacted by the issue. We also take into consideration the likelihood of the site worsening if left untreated, which allows for flexibility when prioritising repairs and the order of work.

Council has also been engaging with community through drop-in sessions and public conversations, listening to residents’ feedback and using the gathered data to inform our prioritisation of work as it affects the community.

While almost all of the minor roading repairs identified as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle have been addressed, there are currently 114 simple and complex sites across our network requiring repairs. Some of these are due to damage from weather events in 2022 but the majority are a result of recent storms, including Cyclone Gabrielle. Work is set to commence in these simple and complex sites in November 2023 but due to funding constraints, they will take a number of years to complete.

General maintenance and repair work on the district’s road fall under a separate category to Council’s post-cyclone Response and Recovery work and therefore have a separate source of funding. General maintenance and repair work comprises those issues on the roading network that do not result from Cyclone Gabrielle or other extreme weather events, but rather from age, wear and tear, and so runs alongside the cyclone Response and Recovery work.

You can find more information about CHB's roading network and any general maintenance repairs or weather events that may be impacting our roads here.

All works will be tendered through public tender procedures via the government platform GETS. Please contact Council on 06 857 8060 if you have any questions.

We are bound to comply with the traffic management requirements set by national standards. These standards are designed to keep both road users and road workers safe in the event of an identified fault on the road or work to repair the fault. Yes, there is a cost to complying with these standards but it is done with the right intent and could save lives or prevent injuries. Public interference with traffic management or the removal of traffic cones pose an unnecessary cost to projects and public safety risk.

Ideally, civil construction works are undertaken in the construction season from October through to March. Construction works incur fewer delays in dry weather while completing repairs during the winter months is generally avoided as it is inefficient and, therefore, more expensive. With a work programme as big as the Council’s post-cyclone Road to Recovery programme, we will be pushing to utilise the months on the fringe of the construction season where possible.

A good investment of public money reinstates the damaged asset (ie. rebuilds the road).

Investigation ensures a better understanding of what caused the issue or damage and informs the design of a robust solution that minimises the risk of the same thing happening in the future. Design work produces fit-for-purpose solutions, ensures engineering requirements and compliance are met, and provides clear instructions for the construction phase. Having clear instructions for tender and construction streamlines the process and reduces the need for ad hoc decision-making. Spending time and money on getting things right at the outset is the most cost-efficient way to renew an asset.


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