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Woody debris clean-up around Wairoa

Mahia beach woody debris resized

A joint media release between Hawke's Bay Regional Council and Wairoa District Council

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, assisted by the Wairoa District Council, are working to clean up woody debris left by Cyclone Gabrielle around the Wairoa district.

The massive clean-up will include local beaches and around bridges.

Wairoa District Council Chief Executive Kitea Tipuna said he is aware there is significant debris on beaches throughout the Wairoa district. The Regional Council has begun its scoping work and will start removing wood and debris at Māhia, Opoutama and Whakamahia beaches, with the Regional Council Works Group tackling the clean-up at Nuhaka.

“We are working with local infrastructure teams to gather information for the Regional Council around bridges throughout the district, including the railway bridge in Wairoa.”

Mr Tipuna said around a dozen sites had been identified so far, with the project expected to take many months to complete. Priority sites have been determined based on health and safety requirements.

“Where possible local contractors will be used, and disposal options will include repurposing and recycling, such as mulching and chipping, working in partnership with the community and in the most environmentally appropriate way.

“Please be patient, contractors cannot be everywhere at once, and because this project is being started as we head into winter, we expect some weather-related delays. This work is an integral part of our recovery, and we aim to have local connectors on the ground to work with communities. We are also working collaboratively at a regional level with both our provincial neighbours.

“We are also relying on local knowledge and encourage people to report areas that need debris removed by following Council’s CSR (Customer Service Request) process either online by phoning the Council on 06 838 7309 or calling into our Queen Street office.

 “Alternatively, people are encouraged to phone the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on 0800 108 838 or visit to log a job for the Regional Council to follow up on.”

Regional Council Asset Management Group Manager Chris Dolley says the Regional Council is making good headway on the clean-up, with physical work expected to start over the next week or so.

“Our wood clean-up and recovery programme are being informed by the information our team is gathering, what we’re hearing from the public, in collaboration with the Wairoa District Council and by the two reports from the Regional Council and the HB Forestry Group analysing the make-up of woody debris.”

Two funds from Government will support the clean-up of woody debris, including the $10.15 million wood debris fund and the $62.6 million Sediment and Debris Recovery Fund for commercial entities.

13 June 2023

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