As climate change brings more storms and higher sea levels, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is encouraging the local community to have their say about the future management of hazards at the coastline.
Regional Council chief executive James Palmer says the coast is important to many in the region and the effects of climate change will be significant and we need to plan ahead.
The Regional Council met today to agree to get underway with the coastal hazards consultation between 1-31 July this year.
“We want to hear the community’s view on whether the Regional Council as a single entity should lead the work on adapting to increasing coastal hazards between the Clifton and Tangoio coasts.”
Until now, the Regional Council, Napier City Council and Hastings District Council have jointly funded the development of a strategy for coastal adaptation. An independent review found that the Regional Council was best placed to lead this work in the future.
Under the proposal, existing Napier City Council and Hastings District Council coastal protection assets will be transferred to the Regional Council. Decisions about funding future coastal protection under the strategy would be made separately, following community consultation in the 2024-2034 Long Term Plan.
Meanwhile, the Regional Council is also asking for the community to have their say about possum control.
The council is proposing to shift the possum control programme from land occupier responsibility to council-led control using contractors.
Mr Palmer says the possum control programme is a significant regional pest control programme.
“The main aim of the programme is to boost biodiversity, support native bird life and bush to thrive, and support the work of Ospri in preventing the spread of bovine tuberculosis.”
For landowners in the current possum control scheme, council analysis suggests around half of the landowners do little to no control and it is proposed that a contractor programme would be more effective.
Under the proposed changes, Council spending would increase to $3.5 million and the majority of costs would be met by the general ratepayer. This means both rural and urban ratepayers would fund possum control giving everyone benefits from better biodiversity. Funding decisions would also be made separately, following community consultation in the 2024-2034 Long Term Plan.
The possum control and coastal hazards consultation will run between 1-31 July.
People can have their say by going to hbrc.govt.nz, search: #consultation.
The Council also confirmed this year’s 15% overall rates increase for 2022-23 set in last year’s Long Term Plan 2021-2031.
1 July 2022
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