Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | June 18, 2012

Hawke’s Bay looking long term

For those of you in Hawke’s Bay, the regional council has made some preliminary decisions on its Draft 2012-2022 Long Term Plan.

Goodness knows how councillors heads are feeling after four days of public submissions….

The plan sets out the council’s work priorities for the next decade, as well as how the work will be funded and this year attracted more than 550 submissions.

This information is taken from a press release sent this morning (and also forwarded by the ever-proactive Cr Kevin Rose).  I haven’t left everything in… but have included afforestation, fracking, biodiversity (yes!), investment portfolio/Port of Napier, flood protection on the Heretaunga Plains (good job) and the planned dam in Central Hawke’s Bay (top of the list).

Rivettingkatetaylor is also pleased to see $500,000 to help with the upgrade of the Wairoa Community Centre/ Alexander Park and a further $500,000 for the provision of a Visitor and Education Centre at Te Mata Park.

The decisions (below) will go to the next full council meeting on 27 June 2012 for final ratification.

 

Ruataniwha Water Storage Project

HBRC has agreed to make provision of $80 million for an equity stake in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Project. The proposal would, if approved, see irrigation takes moved to stored water creating a positive downstream effect for the Tukituki River, by taking the pressure off the river and enabling it to return to naturalised flows during summer months. A feasibility study is due to be completed in August. 

HBRC’s final decision to invest in the water storage project is dependent on a number of decisions. These are: that the project is shown to be commercially feasible and meets council’s environmental objectives; that further public consultation is done; that the project gains resource consent, and that the project is financially viable and that suitable investment partners can be found.

HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson says the Council’s decision makes provision for $80 million for the project should all of the organisation’s stringent criteria be met.

 

Ngaruroro water storage investigations

HBRC has made provision of $27 million for a possible equity stake in a water storage scheme in the Ngaruroro catchment. Approval to proceed will be subject to further economic assessment to be undertaken in the 2012/13 year as part of pre-feasibility. Undertaking a full feasibility assessment and dependent on results, moving to further consultation, consenting and capital raising would require subsequent specific decisions.

 

Investment Strategy

HBRC has confirmed its investment strategy outlined in the Right Debate section of the Long Term Plan 2012-2022. This will see HBRC continuing to invest in the development and revenue generating initiatives of the Port of Napier and increasing investment in water harvesting and improved land use. Part of the funding for these initiatives will come from realising the values of the Napier and Wellington leasehold property portfolios. The Council noted the support for the retention of a majority shareholding in the Port of Napier Limited (PONL) as a strategic asset.

 

Regional Community Facilities Funding

$500,000 will be granted to the Wairoa District Council for the upgrade of the Wairoa Community Centre/ Alexander Park.

A further $500,000 for the provision of a Visitor and Education Centre at Te Mata Park in Hastings District, subject to negotiations with the Te Mata Park Trust and Hastings District Council. HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson says this is a worthy project for an iconic Hawke’s Bay asset. He says the values of the trust and what it wants to achieve closely align with HBRC’s values.

It has also made provision for $2 million for regional hockey turf facilities in Hawke’s Bay. However before this money is allocated HBRC requires HB Hockey Assn, HB Hockey Artificial Surfaces Trust, the Regional Sports Park Trust and the Hastings District and Napier City Councils to agree on a plan.

 

Heretaunga Plains Flood Control

HBRC plans to increase the level of protection provided by the Heretaunga Plains Flood Control Scheme to a 1-in-500 year level commencing in 2016/17, with the costs to be funded through scheme targeted rates (70%) and general funding (30%). This would allow for an annual capital programme worth about $1M without increasing scheme rates above the level of inflation.

 

Afforestation

HBRC has confirmed the inclusion of the provision to spend $47 million in the 2012-22 period as investment into hill country afforestation, subject to Council approval of an operational plan and a carbon trading strategy and policy for the project by September 2012. The Operational Plan will address suitability of species, silviculture regimes, grant rates, the balance of carbon and wood values and site suitability to achieve environmental values. The operational plan will be reviewed annually. Fenton Wilson says work can now begin within HBRC to determine in detail what the scheme will look like.

  

Hydraulic Fracturing

After a day of verbal submissions on potential oil exploration and hydraulic fracturing in Hawke’s Bay HBRC said it has heard the concerns of a number of its citizens and acknowledges the risk around the practice of hydraulic fracturing. It has already referred the matter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. It has now resolved that should the Commissioner’s report include environmental effects that need addressing through the Regional Resource Management Plan then HBRC will undertake notifying the necessary plan changes.

HBRC values the protection of ecosystems in the region and recognises that mineral exploration/extraction poses long-term risk to soil, water and ecosystems. HBRC will ensure all aspects of risk to soil, water and ecosystems are avoided, remedied or mitigated in each application for mineral exploration and extraction.

 

Biodiversity

HBRC has confirmed funding for the development of a regional biodiversity inventory and strategy. In response to public submissions it has increased its funding in the 2012/2013 year to $87,500 to allow the work to begin earlier than planned, with a further $15,500 allocated in the following year.

 

 

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