The Hawkes Bay RIC Chief gets a pay rise and will now earn $380,000.

The higher duties of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Investment Company (HBRIC Ltd) Chief Executive Andrew Newman have been recognised.
Mr Newman was seconded from his position of HBRC Chief Executive to HBRIC Ltd as its Chief Executive in July last year to progress the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.
His role involves several inter-related work streams, working towards presenting a business case and recommendation to Council on whether it should invest in the Scheme. This work includes:
  • Seeking multiple resource consents,
  • Obtaining a design and construction tender at an acceptable contract price,
  • Raising capital from institutional, Government and local investors for the scheme on acceptable terms, in addition to Council’s potential investment,
  • Establishing the legal and commercial arrangement for the entity that will implement the project,
  • Establishing water supply agreements with farmers and achieving a viable threshold of committed water uptake. 
It was a unanimous recommendation of the independent directors of HBRIC Ltd that the higher duties of the role be recognised through a temporary higher duties allowance.
The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme has been described as the largest irrigation project ever undertaken in New Zealand, and HBRIC Ltd Board Chairman Andy Pearce says the board considers the complexity and impact of the tasks that need to be undertaken warrant a higher level of remuneration than that of Council Chief Executive.
HBRIC Ltd recommended to Council an increase in Andrew Newman’s total remuneration package from $295,500  per year to $340,000 per year for the period 1 July 2013 to 31 December 2013, and to $380,000  from 1 January 2014 until Mr Newman’s secondment ceases. As the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is the underlying employer of Mr Newman Council approval for the temporary increase was sought and granted. 
Andrew Newman remains an employee of Council and is expected to return to the role of Council Chief Executive in mid-2014, at which time his total remuneration package will revert back to $295,500 per year, approved by Council in September 2013.

Napier Vandals Strike No To Amalgamation Signs


Napier Labour Party candidate and anti-amalgamation campaigner Stuart Nash believes there are political motives behind vandals who damaged three anti-amalgamation signs during the weekend.

Read more: Napier Vandals Strike No To Amalgamation Signs

TANK collaborate over land and water management in Hawkes Bay

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Regional Planning Committee has signalled its support for the TANK collaborative community group that is making recommendations for land and water management for the Greater Heretaunga and Ahuriri areas. 
The future changes to the Regional Resource Management Plan will be significant as these will affect an area that includes the major urban centres of Napier, Hastings, Flaxmere and Havelock North where 85% of the Hawke’s Bay community live.
This is the first time a collaborative stakeholder process has been used for land and water planning in Hawke’s Bay. However the Regional Council will ultimately make the final decision on the plan change due to its responsibilities under the Resource Management Act.
“Council has supported the TANK Group from the outset but it was important that this Committee gave a similar level of support, as plan changes are deliberated here in the first instance, prior to going to Council,” says Committee co-chair and Council Chairman Fenton Wilson.
The TANK Group is a collaborative stakeholder group of 30 people including tangata whenua, growers, farmers, environmental groups, councils and government agencies.  TANK stands for Tutaekuri, Ahuriri, Ngaruroro and Karamu, the four water catchments which run through the Heretaunga Plains and Ahuriri.
It is anticipated that, by bringing the most affected stakeholders together to share their concerns, viewpoints and possible solutions, there will be more agreement and a wide range of community interests represented when the plan change is released for formal public submissions in 2016.
“Getting the input of all affected communities like the TANK group provides a wide range of valuable information and insights to this Committee and the Council that guides the final decision making process," says Ngati Pahauwera representative and Committee co-chair Toro Waaka.  
The TANK Group has held regular meetings since its formation in October 2012 to discuss such key matters as water allocation, minimum flows, water quality limits, stock exclusion and water use efficiency.
The Group has released its first 73 page report which outlines some interim agreements the group has reached.  This first report is intended as a platform for further discussion as more science and economic information becomes available. 
The Regional Planning Committee this week considered the first TANK Group Report and appreciated the significant amount of effort that participants had contributed to date.  The Committee encouraged the Group to continue its good progress and signalled its commitment to give particular regard to any recommendations coming from the group.
HBRC is represented on the TANK Group by Councillors Peter Beaven, Tom Belford and Christine Scott.
More information on the TANK Group, its membership and the report is available on, search on TANK.

A Hawkes Bay irrigation project could mean big savings for farmers.


The irrigation water available to farmers from the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme will be delivered to their farm gates ‘under pressure’; potentially saving each operator significant costs in on-farm infrastructure and energy costs.

The news comes as negotiations continue to move forward with joint venture OHL-Hawkins, the RWSS preferred consortia. European Contractor, Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Hawkins Infrastructure, New Zealand’s largest privately-owned construction company have joined forces for the project.
RWSS Project Manager Graeme Hansen says being able to deliver the water closer to the farm gate than initially planned and providing it ‘under pressure’ is great news for farmers and part of the ongoing ‘optimisation’ of the scheme that has continued through the design phase negotiations.
With many aspects of the scheme design now being finalised, all the financial modeling is assuming a ‘take or pay’ water price of 23 cents per cubic metre - which is within the 22-25 cents per cubic metre price outlined in the feasibility phase. There will be an additional variable energy charge at a maximum of 3 cents per cubic metre, which is only payable on actual water used in any given season. This pressurisation will minimise, and in most instances, eliminate the need for on-farm pumping infrastructure or energy costs.
Mr Hansen says through the negotiation phase there has also been optimisation and refinements of the reservoir and distribution system, which means the scheme can now reliably distribute 104 million m3 of water per year to the irrigation footprint, an improvement on the feasibility figure of 90 million cubic metres per year.
 “Using its extensive expertise in dam construction, OHL-Hawkins has been able to create a significantly more comprehensive scheme, which offers additional value while still remaining within the range of the feasibility report cost estimates.”
Mr Hansen says further contractual discussions will continue with OHL-Hawkins through to financial close in late June, however current negotiations are in a very strong position.
OHL-Hawkins Joint Venture Bid Manager Steve Livesay says they are exceptionally proud to be involved in such a challenging and interesting project, particularly one that will mean so much to the Hawke’s Bay region.
“Our solution includes a dam designed by world experts from New Zealand, Australia and Spain, and an irrigation scheme harnessing all the best elements of recent Canterbury and Australian experience to provide the water users with an optimal cost and service level,” says Mr Livesay.
“We are conscious of the sensitivities of the Scheme and confident that we can provide a positive impact for the community once we’re underway and are very hopeful the remaining regulatory hurdles can be overcome.”
Meanwhile the Board of Inquiry - set up by the Environmental Protection Authority to hear evidence and submissions on Tukituki Plan Change 6 and RWSS resource consents - will deliver its draft decision no later than 15th April, before releasing a final decision by 28th May.
The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme has the potential to supply secure water for irrigated farming and horticultural uses to 25,000-30,000 hectares of land for farming, while improving the water quality and summer flows in the Tukituki River. If given approval, and once operational, the scheme is expected to create around 2,250 new jobs throughout Hawke’s Bay.

The Wairoa District Council ask the public to 'make your call'.


Have a say in what happens to your district by making a submission to the Local Government Commission. Let them know what you think about the proposal to amalgamate with the rest of Hawke's Bay. Don't wait for the referendum. Make your submission today. 

Submissions must be made by Friday, March 7.Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or mail to: Hawke's Bay Reorganisation Proposal
Local Government Commission
PO Box 5362
Wellington 6145

Central Government have indicated that changes are set to take place in the way Local Government is organised. This could mean changes in representation, responsibilities and how Councils currently operate.

In the interests of keeping the Wairoa community informed, we wish to share all information as it comes to hand.



The Local Government Commission has released its draft proposal for reorganisation in Hawke's Bay.

The highlights are:
One council and one mayor who could speak with one voice for Hawke's Bay.

A layer of boards empowered to represent distinct local communities.

The new Hawke's Bay Council would replace Wairoa District Council, Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, Central Hawke's Bay District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council. It would also include a small area of Rangitikei District.

Nine councillors would be elected from five wards to ensure region-wide representation. The mayor would be elected at large by all Hawke's Bay voters.

The Council would have five community boards with 37 elected members. The wards and community boards would share the same boundaries. Their proposed names are Wairoa, Ngaruroro, Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay.

The views of the large Māori population would be heard through a standing council committee (Māori Board) comprising representatives nominated by local iwi and elected members of council. The existing Māori committee dealing with management of natural resources would be retained.

Hawke's Bay Council's administrative headquarters is initially proposed be in Napier City. There would be council offices in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, Waipawa and Waipukurau.

Existing council debt and financial arrangements would be ring-fenced for at least six years to the communities which incurred them or benefit from them. Current regional assets would be transferred to Hawke's Bay Council.

Hawke's Bay Council would be a unitary authority, combining the functions of city, district and regional councils. It would have a total of 47 elected members: one for every 3,286 people (excluding the mayor). Under current arrangements there are 57 elected members: one for every 2,852 people.

More information can be found below and on the Commission's website - 




LGC Media Statement - Responses to Hawke's Bay Local Government Reorganisation

Wairoa District Council submission to Local Governement Commission

Letter to LG Minister from Ngati Kahungunu

A Better Hawke's Bay brochure

BayBuzz Reorganisation Survey - Mail summary

BayBuzz Reorganisation - Online summary

Unison networks statement

Letter to Minister Tremain

Response from Minister Tremain

Work continues in Hastings to build strong links to the city


Work has begun on the final part of a three phase project, which will provide strong pedestrian, transport and visual links from Hastings CBD, past Bay Plaza to The Park Mega Centre.

The project on Russell Street North is designed to improve the connectivity between the shopping precincts by creating a pedestrian friendly, tree lined avenue.

The project includes the creation of a new footpath and kerbing on the eastern side of Russell Street North, the installation of snake lights, trees and includes some adjustments to the Bay Plaza carpark. A new bus shelter will be installed as part of the project, with the design and colours coming from the iWay palate. A cycle shelter will also be constructed close to the bus shelter which will strengthen the facilities available to cyclists.

Some preliminary work on this project was undertaken in 2013, when watermains were replaced and the former Environment Centre was removed.

Hastings District Councillor Sandra Hazlehurst says "The owners of Bay Plaza made a major financial commitment during their recent upgrade of the shopping centre and this project will compliment that development. The improved pedestrian link completes the connection between Bay Plaza and Heretaunga Street."

"The work that is currently being undertaken will make a huge improvement to the shopping experience in Hastings and will ensure that the whole area, including the Bay Plaza carpark becomes more pedestrian friendly. It is important that there is a feel that The Park Mega Centre, Bay Plaza and the CBD are all one shopping experience and this project will definitely enhance that perception," Sandra Hazlehurst says.

"A refurbishment of the garden beds along the railway corridor side of Russell Street and the planting of some new trees will dramatically improve the visual appeal of the area. The installation of the snake lights will continue the visual pattern that is now the overall city theme for lighting. Council is continuing to work closely with Bay Plaza to ensure there is minimum disruption to their operation during the construction period."

Hugh Lambie, Investment Director for Bay Plaza says the outcome is a good example of private and public entities working together to improve the centre of town and the shopping experience.

"We have made a significant investment in Hastings and have just spent over $4 million on the refurbishment of Bay Plaza, including bringing several new tenants to Hawke’s Bay and installing state of the art CCTV and security cameras. Bay Plaza has the highest foot traffic in Hawke’s Bay and improvements that allow our customers easier access are welcome."

Bay Plaza is now 98% leased post refurbishment with national tenants Pita Pit and Spice Trader Indian Restaurant due to open late March.

The Council’s upgrade project is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Hawkes Bay Council pollution response officer's were disappointed by stream dumping

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council pollution response officers were disappointed to be called out to a particularly offensive stream dumping event yesterday, and have a message for people dumping rubbish in our waterways: “don’t do it.”
HBRC Compliance Manager, Wayne Wright, received a call-out for his team on Monday morning in response to a photo emailed to council.  The photo appeared to show offal and pressed hams in a blue container, which had been dumped from the Elsthorpe Road Bridge into Papanui Stream not far from Waipawa.
On investigation, HBRC staff fished out half a cow, a lamb and three hams.
“This sort of dumping in not new to council, but staff take particular exception to pollution of the region’s waterways,” says Wayne Wright.
“Most importantly, anyone reading this should not think of it as a localised issue, this is a whole of community issue that requires all of us to take action.  If you see someone dumping rubbish at the roadside, road end, or more offensively, in our waterways, report it to the Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline straight away, 0800 108 838 or look us up in the phone book.”

Enjoy food and entertainment from all corners of the globe at Hastings Cornwall Park


Hastings Cornwall Park will again reflect the diverse culture of Hawke’s Bay during International Cultures Day.

The 2014 edition of this popular event takes place on Saturday 1st March and will feature food and entertainment from all corners of the globe. This year’s special guest performers will be the 50/50 Dance Crew from Auckland.

Cultures Day is organised by the New Zealand China Friendship Society and President Sally Russell says "We are very excited to have 50/50 back with us for 2014. The performers are aged between 16 and 24 and they wowed the crowd at Cornwall Park last year when they performed as the Garage Wallas. Since then they have made the semifinals of New Zealand’s Got Talent and performed at Diwali Festivals in Auckland and Wellington. They have won several regional dance competitions, worked on a dance documentary for Maori TV and a special Diwali Show for TVNZ."

Sally Russell says "International Cultures Day will again feature a wide range of entertainment from the Pacific communities of Hawke’s Bay, with the Fetu Ao Samoan Wesley Methodist Group, the Tongan Community and the St Andrews Cook islands Cultural group taking the stage during the day."

"Food will again be a highlight of the event and there will certainly be something to suit all tastes. The offering this year includes Indian spices, Cantonese cuisine, German cakes and Indian chai," Sally Russell says.

International Cultures Day takes place on Saturday 1st March at Cornwall Park,Hastings with performances starting at 11am and going through until 3.30pm.