The Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy (HPUDS) development process is underway.

Lest anyone think this group will champion anything BUT unrestrained growth, consider the membership of the Stakeholder Reference Group, which will be intimately involved in every aspect of the project:

  • Sport Hawke’s Bay
  • Ministry of Economic Development Representative
  • Hawke’s Bay District Health Board
  • NZTA
  • EIT
  • Housing New Zealand
  • Ministry for Social Development Representative
  • Venture Hawke’s Bay
  • Sustaining Hawke’s Bay Trust
  • Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • Valuers Institute of NZ
  • Commercial Landusers Group
  • Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc
  • Te Puna Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development)
  • Federated Farmers
  • Taiwhenua/Iwi

With the exception of the minimally-resourced Sustaining HB Trust, there is no clear and determined voice for protecting the environmental values embodied in the Plains. No voice from the orchardists and others who have fought to protect Plains land from development. No voice (external to Council) with expertise on the water issues that might constrain growth (of any kind) on the Plains.

But lots of voices to grow and build.

When I volunteered to participate, expressly to add some balance to this group, I was told I didn’t represent anyone. Clearly voices of caution — and potentially constraint — are unwanted.

This is exactly the kind of process that led to the “regional” sports park — talk to one and only one element of the community (in that case, sports codes), give them what they want, and call that broad consultation and “buy-in.”

Bottom line: Get ready to grow on the Plains!

Tom Belford

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  1. Tom, its not quite as bad as it appears. The unfortunately-named 'Commercial Landusers Group' just formed at the prompting of Ru Collin & HB Fruitgrowers' Assn, is in fact a forum for rural/primary producers and the discussion at our inaugural meeting this week (hosted by HDC & including HBRC) centred largely on HPUDS and the importance of preserving the productive capacity of the Plains.

    So it might not be as bad as you fear.


    Xan Harding

    Director, HB Winegrowers

  2. I too think it would be premature to consign most of the participants into the "exploit for growth" group. For example I am one of the council members from the Chamber of Commerce who is tasked with supporting our representation on this group. Given my expressed views on sustainability and what that means for HB I am hardly likely to be a patsy! Keep at it though Tom.

  3. The Land Protection Society should be one of the first on the list of stakeholders for this study. Many of our members have fought for years to get proper recognition and acknowledgement of the Plains as a special area for consideration.They have such a genuine and serious desire for better planning and have contributed more over the years in their endeavour to see this occurr that it is an insult to be left off this list.

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