Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is focused on making progress on repair and maintenance of its drainage schemes and supporting the local community in the Wairoa region.
Regional Council Wairoa-based councillor Di Roadley says it’s been a tough road for the Wairoa community who feel cut off and face a long recovery.
“We understand this, and we are doing what we can to support the community to get back on its feet.”
Regional Council Asset Management Group Manager Chris Dolley says teams have been restoring critical flood infrastructure.
Teams have repaired the main power connection on the Ohuia drainage scheme and a new pump will be arriving for installation next month. Excavation work to clear 400m of drain leading to the pumpstation is nearing completion.
A team of Regional Council Works Group operators have also been on the ground since 20 March clearing vegetation and removing trees alongside the Awatere Stream between SH2 and Carrol Street and spraying all the scheme drains.
“In good news, the team is reporting back that all drains are looking good and for the most part seem to be free of silt”.
The Wairoa based Regional Council catchment team played a critical role with the Civil Defence response in the aftermath of the cyclone, as well as getting stuck in and helping address damage, and they continue to support the community with information and advice.
The small local team have also been critical eyes and ears on the ground, checking on damage and relaying information back to the main Regional Council office in Napier.
Regional Council Wairoa catchment lead Bryan McCavana says “access issues remain a key issue to rural communities, stock and fertiliser trucks are unable to access farms, and people have difficulty simply getting into town for supplies.”
Key materials, such as culverts to replace those damaged in the cyclone, are proving scarce and difficult for locals to access from elsewhere.
With so much on-farm damage, farmers are also experiencing difficulties securing fencing contractors to repair and rebuild damaged fence lines, and there are simply not enough to keep up with demand.
The list is long, and the Regional Council is aware of the many difficulties those in Northern Hawke’s Bay are facing and working hard to do what they can to support the region.
As part of the Hawke's Bay Regional Recovery Agency and framework, the Regional Council is working with other councils and industry to focus on recovery across the region, including Wairoa.
The Regional Council will continue to work with tripartite partners, Wairoa District Council and Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoato on priority areas for the region, such as housing and horticulture.
Regional Council is managing the allocation of funds for the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust, and would like to encourage more applications from the people of Wairoa.
The Trust, activated by Hawke’s Bay Mayors and Chairs, offers one-off grants to alleviate hardship due to impacts from Cyclone Gabrielle. The fund offers a maximum of $1,000 per property or $2,000 for community groups or Marae.
For details and to apply online visit: hbrc.info/HBDisasterFund
6 April 2023
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