1. Over 7,000 signatures were handed to Mayor Yule, saying NO! to 1000 houses on Ocean Beach. What an outstanding effort by dozens of people putting up and hosting signs and gathering signatures, including many shop and cafe owners who are displaying the Friends of Ocean Beach petitions … sometimes facing harassment by our opponents.

To you — and of course our thousands of signers — well done!

These signatures, plus the many more we plan to gather over the next week, will be formally accepted by the Hastings Council at their February 21 meeting, where Councillors will review their position on developing Ocean Beach.

SO KEEP THE PETITIONS COMING IN!! GO HERE TO GET ONE YOU CAN SIGN OR CIRCULATE … AND TO SEE WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO.

2. A major victory was scored for the Tukituki at the HB Regional Council. Strongly pressed by Councillors Tim Gilbertson and Neil Kirton, with an important assist from Maori representative Morry Black, the HBRC instructed staff to present an action plan for intensifying efforts to clean up the Tukituki. This plan is to be presented at the next (April) meeting of the Environmental Management Committee.

In addition, recognizing the strong public interest in (I might say, unhappiness with) the TukiTuki water quality status report presented by staff today, CEO Andrew Newman offered his sponsorship of an additional public meeting on the report. At this meeting, to be scheduled within a fortnight, members of the public, including critics of the HBRC, will be able to query and challenge staff regarding their report.

This will be a great opportunity to get at the facts regarding both the state of the river and the actions or inactions of HBRC in responding to the situation. Thanks to CEO Newman for that. Hopefully the public meeting will help pave the way for an agressive action plan for the Tukituki.

3. HBRC will also make a formal submission on Ocean Beach. In discussing the direction and tenor of said submission, many Councillors voiced skepticism about the proposed development. BayBuzz and others will monitor development of the submission, expecting to see it reflect the oppositional tone heard in today’s discussion.

The submission must be approved by HBRC Councillors at their February 27th meeting and submitted by February 29th.

All in all, a day of progress for the Hawke’s Bay environment.

Tom

P.S. Oh, and over at the Napier Council, as usual …. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

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