Hawke's Bay Regional Council get a big tick for service delivery


Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have received the results of a region wide resident survey ranking HBRC highly for the quality of its service delivery, the importance of its work and the level of community engagement.

HBRC conducted an independent phone survey during April to understand the general awareness of work carried out by council, satisfaction levels, and how HBRC is performing in specific areas, such as Emergency Management, HeatSmart and Regional Parks.

HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson is pleased with the result, showing that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is valued for the quality of its work.

"What I find really heartening is how highly the residents of Hawke’s Bay rated the importance of the work HBRC does. For every service we provide, the 2015 response level was 4% to 15% higher than in 2013," says Councillor Wilson.

95% of the residents surveyed said they care about the environment and when asked which main organisation they think of regarding the environment in Hawke’s Bay more than half mentioned Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

The survey shows that HBRC’s work developing and maintaining regional parks and wetlands in Hawke’s Bay is highly valued, along with the flood protection and drainage work carried out. Residents indicated support to maintain and develop the existing regional park network, rather than establish new ones, for now. There was very high awareness of the parks and wetlands that HBRC manages, with Tūtira Regional Park being the most well-known, closely followed by Pekapeka Regional Park and Hawke’s Bay Trails. It was great to see residents throughout the region highlighting their favourite recreational water spots including Ocean Beach, the Tukituki River, the Wairoa River and Westshore Beach.

Other sections of the survey covered HBRC’s HeatSmart programme, Civil Defence Emergency Preparedness and spending on Rates. The results of this and previous surveys can be found at www.hbrc.govt.nz, keyword search: survey.

Wairoa welcomes their newest Kiwi's


Wairoa welcomed their newest NZ Citizens recently during a Citizenship Ceremony yesterday afternoon.

 "It takes great courage to leave the land of your birth and it takes great wisdom to choose to make New Zealand and Wairoa your home" - said by Mayor Craig Little. 

Hawke's Bay Ruataniwha dam update.


Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd (HBRIC Ltd) today updated Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) on the progress of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme and the Napier Port revaluation.

Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme
HBRC approved HBRIC Ltd’s recommendation to accept that workable resource consents have been granted, being the first of four ‘conditions precedent’ to be met for the scheme to proceed.

The scheme passed a major hurdle earlier this month when the High Court confirmed there were no appeals to the environmental consents for the scheme issued by the Board of Inquiry. This means those environmental consents are now confirmed.

Water Uptake
To date farmers have signed up for just over 20 million cubic metres of water, with a further 15.7 million cubic metres in the contracting process and another 21.9 million in negotiation. 20% of the water signed up is for deep water transfers.

Current projections suggest the $275 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme will be able to supply water to 27-28,000 hectares of land, create 2,250 new jobs and inject millions of dollars into the Hawke’s Bay economy.

Approximately 23% of potential irrigable properties are not proceeding, however it is expected a number of these may irrigate under future new ownership.

HBRIC Ltd continues to see active interest from external parties interesting in moving into the area to farm and it expects this activity to increase now the BoI consenting phase is complete.

HBRIC Ltd wants to sign up 45 million cubic metres of water by November to meet the water uptake condition for the scheme to proceed.

Design & Construction
The OHL-Hawkins consortium is preparing to undertake a price revalidation, which is expected to be complete by September.

Engagement with investors is ramping up with the preferred investors expected to be presented to council in October to meet the investor condition for the scheme to proceed.

Final Decision
HBRIC Ltd plans to make a final decision on whether the scheme will proceed before the end of the 2015 calendar year.

Napier Port Revaluation
The value of Napier Port shares has increased by $61 million in the last three years. Deloitte has undertaken a revaluation of Napier Port shares. It set the value between $219.4 and 257.4 million. The HBRIC Ltd Board has recommended adopting a mid-point value of $238.4 million, up $61 million from the 2012 valuation.

HBRIC Ltd says the valuation continues to reflect very positively on the performance of the Napier Port Board, senior management and staff at the port.

Freedom camping complaints cause Napier council to rethink their bylaws.

The Napier City Council's regulatory committee has decided to ask the public for their opinion on freedom camping along the Marine Parade.


Complaints have been flooding in over freedom campers in the Napier Ocean Spa carpark with residents and visitors saying the mess being made by some campers was not a good look for the city.

The council are planning on amending the city's freedom camping bylaw to allow only self contained vehicles to camp at the popular Marine Parade reserve and have voted unanimously to proceed with public consultation over the amendment.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said the amendment would provide a boost for local accommodation business's and would be good for the city.

Councillor Maxine Boag however said not all freedom campers who weren't in self contained vehicles were irresponsible and they still had alot to offer the city.

She said she hoped something could be done to accommodate them.


Hawke's Bay Regional Council adopts Hawke's Bay Biodiversity Strategy


Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today unanimously endorsed the Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Strategy, which has been under development by major groups, agencies, tāngata whenua and key individuals since 2012.

Today’s recommendations include HBRC’s intent to sign a Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Accord at the highest level of commitment possible, and to facilitate a strategy launch event in the coming months. Once launched, this project will shift into a long-term implementation phase.

During a presentation to Council, Acting Interim Chief Executive Iain Maxwell described the process used to collectively support the improvement in Hawke’s Bay’s native species and habitat, integrating Māori values, improving partnerships and involving the wider community.

"The Biodiversity Strategy is a document of opportunity. It favours native species and habitats, with a practical long-term view of what we might all achieve by working together," said Mr Maxwell.

"We know that the biggest opportunities for biodiversity gains are on private land, so we’ll continue to work closely with relevant landowners."

"A point often gets raised as to what this means for introduced (exotic) trees and plants, some of which are favoured by native birds. This strategy acknowledges that a wide variety of habitat types will support native species and needs to be flexible if implementation is to be successful," said Mr Maxwell.

HBRC staff will now plan a strategy launch and the signing of an Accord document, for all interested and involved parties, to publicly commit to the strategy’s vision for enhanced, healthy and functioning Biodiversity.

HBRC’s current Long Term Plan has provided for the employment of a part-time Biodiversity Coordinator, supported by the Department of Conservation. The role will initially focus on forming a Biodiversity Forum and establishing a Biodiversity Trust.

The Hawke’s Bay Biodiversity Strategy is a non-statutory document aimed at improving the effectiveness of biodiversity management among the major parties, by aligning programmes and resources. The Strategy is facilitated by HBRC on behalf of the wider Hawke’s Bay community.

Warning over Hawke's Bay's Ruataniwha nitrogen limits


Farmers intending to buy water from the Ruataniwha dam are being warned they could be be forced to cut stock numbers to meet the catchment's strict nitrogen limit.

A decision is yet to be made on whether the dam will go ahead and the Hawke's Bay Regional Council is considering consent conditions today.

The council's investment company H-BRIC has sought legal advice from Simpson Grierson on the dam consent conditions.

Council data shows a large part of the catchment already exceeds the stipulated nitrogen targets, and in some cases is double the limit.

Simpson Grierson said if best farming practices were not sufficient to reach the targets by 2030, farmers could be required to take further measures, such as reducing farming intensity.

Forest and Bird lawyer Sally Gepp said this couild mean farmers had to reduce stocking rates, and they and ratepayers should be aware of the implications of these conditions.

H-BRIC said it intended to apply to its owner, the regional council, to change the conditions of the resource consent granted by a board of inquiry.


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