For those interested in the performance of the HB Regional Council, I draw your attention to what is now a regular Agenda item for councillors’ regular end-of-month meeting (the last Wednesday of each month).

The report — Significant Organisational Activities — looks forward a month or so and uses a simple colour code to indicate whether key projects are progressing (or not), risks foreseen and budget status.

Some of the project descriptions are a bit cryptic if you don’t follow the HBRC’s exploits on a regular basis, but there are enough signals to give you a taste of what’s happening, enabling you to follow-up if you’re concerned.

For example, I learned that:

  • Major effort underway over the next two months to complete the eradication of possums in the Mahia scenic reserve.
  • Logging continues on Council land at Tutira Regional Park, with rising log prices forecast.
  • Stinking Haumoana ponds being investigated.
  • Funding support for farmers addressing hill country erosion continues.
  • New radars being installed to provide better data at low flow river sites. [Low flow targets determine whether water takes for irrigation must be limited.]
  • ‘Right Tree Right Place’ project seems to be gathering steam, with The Nature Conservancy on board as a new partner.
  • Water storage feasibility in upper Heretaunga catchment being reviewed, with Geotech work completed. [The TANK plan prohibits dams on the Ngaruroro main stem and certain specified tributaries but permits other locations if found feasible.]
  • A potential hiccup signalled regarding site location for planned Managed Aquifer Recharge project in CHB, but other workstreams seem on schedule.
  • A long-awaited Regional Water Assessment now exists in ‘draft interim’ form. [code words used to signal ‘let’s see what s**t hits the fan’ when discussed with other councils.]
  • The ‘on-demand’ public transportation (bus) trial is on schedule, with an early June start date projected.
  • Only about 50% of Farm Environmental Management Plan re-submissions that were due to be filed by last 31 May have in fact been filed. [These are now mandatory in the Tukituki catchment and soon will be required from all farmers/growers per rules from the government.]
  • A draft decision from Hearing Commissioners on the TANK Plan Change is anticipated anytime. Budget for this plan change currently sits at $4.5 million.
  • Flood control improvements have begun in Taradale, with pre-work investigations completed for Moteo, East Clive, Ngatarawa and Roys Hill. Construction at these sites set to commence in October.
  • Thirteen active prosecutions for environmental misdeeds are pending before court.
  • Appeals on the Draft Water Conservation Order application for the Ngaruroro River are pending before the court.

Throughout the report are mentions of delays caused by staffing, contractor and consultant shortages, as well as Covid work protocols.

Here’s the full report.

Now, consider what you pay in Regional Council rates. Seems like a bargain to me. What about you?

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the details. I am totally impressed and grateful to the point of tears. May the HBRC’s bright light of vitality and wellbeing
    infect the rest of our people and our place with their goodness and inspired action.

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