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Hawke’s Bay’s briefing to the incoming Government – a united region ready to work with Government on recovery and prosperity

Hawke’s Bay is a region organised for collaboration and united in its approach to working with Government to address key post-cyclone issues, the region’s leaders have signalled in their briefing to the incoming Government, submitted earlier this week.

The briefing, submitted to Ministers on behalf of Hawke’s Bay’s five Councils and Iwi and Post Settlement Governance Entities, highlights the region’s strong desire to work with central Government to build back safer, smarter, and more resilient than before Cyclone Gabrielle, says Co-Chair of the Matariki Governance Group, and Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay, Alex Walker.

“The last nine months have seen the region working positively together in ways we’ve never seen before, united and aligned in our goal of achieving full recovery for our Hawke’s Bay communities,” says Alex.

“Despite this progress, for our most impacted communities and displaced whānau, there is still so much work to be done. The ongoing commitment and support of central Government remains vital for the people of Hawke’s Bay as we work to address the ongoing issues and recovery priorities for the region.”

With the briefing now submitted, Hawke’s Bay’s leaders will engage with the newly formed Government in person, says Co-Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Matariki Governance Group and Chair of Tātau Tātau o te Wairoa Trust, Leon Symes.

“Our people have made it clear that they expect to see visible leadership and strong support from central Government as we continue to move Hawke’s Bay forward, together,” says Leon.

“We will work closely with the incoming Emergency Management and Recovery Minister, Mark Mitchell, with his first visit to the region since his appointment to the role set to occur in the coming week. We will also continue to prioritise a close working relationship between local and central Government, as we know this is an essential piece of the puzzle as we work to ensure Hawke’s Bay is a prosperous, sustainable, and resilient region.”

Key priorities highlighted in Hawke’s Bay’s briefing to the incoming Government include:

  • Emergency resilience – more resilient power, telecommunications, and transport infrastructure.
  • Health and wellbeing – prioritised support for Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital, and support to ensure broader health services are fit-for-purpose and able to meet the region’s needs.
  • Housing – programmes to address Hawke’s Bay’s severe housing shortages.
  • Regulatory relief – improved legislation and regulations to ease the planning and consenting bottlenecks that could slow the progress of critical flood mitigation activity.
  • Silt and debris – action to address the more than 1.5 million cubic metres of silt and debris remaining on highly productive land across the region.
  • Transport – investment to repair damage and address transport vulnerabilities on both state highways and local roads, with a particular focus on the region’s rural roading network.
  • Voluntary buyouts of Category 3 property – further and ongoing support to ensure voluntary buyout programmes are equitable for all, including those covered by the Government-led Kaupapa Māori programme.
  • Water – a regional model to replace the soon-to-be-repealed Three Waters water service entities, and support to ensure long-term, climate resilient water supply to one of New Zealand’s most significant productive regions.
  • Workforce development – action to help meet the up to 8,000 additional civil construction workers required over the next eight years for post-cyclone infrastructure repairs, and to provide career opportunities for Hawke’s Bay’s young people.

 

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