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Napier CBD upgrade now four weeks ahead of schedule

Hastings St stage map 1A mild winter – so far – and efficient construction have helped speed up the pace of the Napier inner city infrastructure upgrade to the point it is now a month ahead of schedule.

Napier City Council staff and contractors have nearly finished Stage Three, from Tennyson Street to Emerson Street, and Stage Four, at the currently closed Tennyson-Hastings Street intersection. As the above-ground work comes to a close the security fencing in both areas will be replaced by barriers. Pedestrians and motorists can expect things to return to normal in the Stage Three area within in the next couple of weeks.

Work has also begun on Stage Six, from the intersection to Shakespeare Road. This involves laying new stormwater pipes between Tennyson and Browning Streets. Director Infrastructure Jon Kingsford says due to the great progress in construction the redevelopment of Hastings Street through to Browning Street should be finished early next month. “Since construction has been going so well, we’ve decided to push it a little further and next month and in September we’ll be carrying out additional work in Browning Street to capture more stormwater runoff from Shakespeare Road.”

The Council will let the public and retailers know of any potential disruption to traffic flow in the area ahead of time.   The CBD upgrade continues the work which resulted in an upgrade of Hastings Street’s underground infrastructure, and the street surface between Albion and Emerson Streets last year. The above ground design elements include wider footpaths, a revamped parking layout, new planting and street furniture.

Planning for this part of the CBD infrastructure upgrade began in 2010. It is part of a city-wide response to flood-prone areas. All new pipelines will connect to the Marine Parade stormwater outfall, underneath the viewing platform.

For more information about the overall project, go to www.napier.govt.nz keyword #prjhastingsstreet

Project 1000 to grow jobs for Hawke’s Bay people

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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell today announced Project 1000; a scheme to provide 1000 new jobs for currently unemployed Hawke’s Bay workers over the next three years.

Project 1000 is part of Matariki - Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2016, which aims to accelerate job growth and raise incomes in the region.

"The Project 1000 initiative brings together businesses, iwi, local authorities, training providers, and central government to support the creation of 1000 new jobs for local people who are not currently participating in the Hawkes Bay economy," Mrs Tolley says.

"Strong projected growth in several industries, such as manufacturing, infrastructure, horticulture and viticulture, will enable sustainable employment opportunities to be created for local workers.

"Unemployment in Hawke’s Bay is consistently higher than the national average, but there is a huge amount of activity in the region. Demand for exports in horticulture and viticulture are high. The manufacturing, infrastructure and food and beverage processing industries are thriving. This programme will provide skills training and job-matching to get local people into sustainable jobs."

Mr Flavell says Project 1000 will bring together several employment-related initiatives for Hawke’s Bay.

"The Hawke’s Bay action plan has a strong focus on encouraging whanau to participate in the regional economy. Part of this is focussed on upskilling and providing pathways to permanent employment for rangatahi (young people)," Mr Flavell says.

"Project 1000 aligns well with He kai kei aku ringa, the Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership, and its goal to have a skilled and successful workforce contributing to Hawke’s Bay’s economic growth."

"Over the next  three years,we will work to move 700 Ministry of Social Development clients into employment in the horticulture, viticulture and infrastructure industries to support projected industry growth. The remaining 300 jobs are expected to be filled by Hawke’s Bay people not currently participating in the labour market.."

Project 1000 is a key contributor to the overall employment goal of Matariki - which is to add 5000 more jobs in Hawkes Bay over the five years of the plan.

Matariki - Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2016 has been developed by the region with central government support. It forms part of the Government’s Regional Growth Programme.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/regions-cities/regional-growth-programme/east-coast

Federated Farmers and Greenpeace at odds over environmental impact of Hawke's Bay dam

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The site of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam near the Makaroro River. Photo / File

Federated Farmers is fighting back against claims the Ruataniwha dam will be bad for the environment.

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council voted seven to two, to put $80 million into the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, as long as an investor is found.

Greenpeace says the dam will be disastrous to the environment.

SEE ALSO: Protests to prevent ratepayers' money funding the Ruataniwha dam

But Regional Federated Farmers President Will Foley said the original reason for the Ruataniwha dam was to relieve low water levels in the main catchment zone of the Tukituki River.

Mr Foley said biodiversity there has been threatened since the 2007, 2008 and 2009 draughts, and the dam would help correct that.

He said it's a couple years late but they're in the grips of another drought and farmers need the irrigation to get through the dry periods, and increase their productivity.

Mr Foley added that of the 196 farmers who've signed onto the scheme, only one is a new dairy farm; the rest were already there so it shouldn't have a negative impact on the environment.

But Greenpeace Agriculture campaigner Genevieve Toop said the scientific evidence doesn't agree. She said the rise in farm production the dam allows will be enough to pollute more waterways.

Ms Toop said the message is simple: if we want clean rivers we need fewer cows, to have fewer cows we need to stop building large irrigation schemes that create more industrial dairy farming.

She added it would be a terrible misuse of public money because not only would the 80 million be from tax payer money, but the clean up will be too.

Will Foley said it's likely an investor will be found within weeks.

Hawke's Bay MP supports call to investigate Dam commitment.

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Labour supports a call for the Auditor-General to investigate the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s $40 million commitment to the Ruataniwha dam by four of its own councillors, Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri says.

"The Council’s ‘provisional decision’ to commit so much ratepayers money without any public consultation, is a very serious matter.

"Despite a litany of questionable decisions over Ruataniwha, we have seen no leadership from the National Government.

"Tukituki MP Craig Foss actually called the commitment of ratepayer funds a ‘positive step forward’ and continues to support the project.

"The Minister for Local Government, who has a critical leadership role to ensure good outcomes are achieved for communities, has kept silent.

"I believe the Auditor General is best placed to shed some light on how the Council is spending the public purse.

"Hawke’s Bay ratepayers deserve transparency on how decisions to spend $40 million of their money are being made," says Meka Whaitiri.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council to fell 17 walnut trees.

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A number of large exotic trees beside Havelock North’s Karamū Stream will shortly be felled to make way for native species.

21 poplar and 17 walnut trees have been identified by an arborist as posing a potential safety hazard for nearby landowners and members of the public.

These trees are being felled in conversation with the Mary Doyle Retirement Complex, who are due to develop a site adjacent to the stand of poplar trees, which are visible from Crosses Road bridge.

Immediately beneath the poplars is an already generating understory of native eucalypts, figs, pittosporum and flaxes, which will come through once the poplars are removed.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council manages the land beside Karamū Stream.

The job of removing these mature trees will occur using safe site practices which may require temporary restrictions to streambank access.

Initial community feedback has already been sought from Havelock North’s Karamū Enhancement Group. Any further public comments on this process should be directed to Antony Rewcastle, HBRC’s Open Spaces Development Officer by Monday 7 March, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The trees will be felled during April. 

Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD