Sediment and debris collection and management will continue into December thanks to an additional $10million funding for the Silt Recovery Taskforce, following consultations with the caretaker government and incoming government.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Hinewai Ormsby said the additional funding would allow the Taskforce and the councils to plan ahead for where the material goes, the future land level of areas where silt was removed and to tie in with other programmes of work like the transport rebuild in Esk.
Silt Recovery Taskforce Lead Darren de Klerk said the Taskforce would focus on high priority jobs for November and December.
“Our team will be focused on high priority jobs and re-opening silt deposit sites to get the work running again. We need to prioritise which jobs we return to or are next in line, as the unfortunate reality is that we simply can’t get to everyone,” said de Klerk.
“We estimate this latest money will allow us to complete a further 30 jobs and move an additional 200,000 cubic metres of sediment and debris during November and into December. We currently have 397 jobs across 186 silt jobs, 188 general debris and 23 wood debris jobs waiting to be completed totalling an estimated 1.2-1.5 million cubic metres of sediment and debris waiting to be collected.”
After stopping work at the end of October, contractors will be back working from later in the week and the deposit sites will also reopen to receive trucks.
“To manage budget, the Taskforce will allocate a shortlist of around 15 contractors a budget to restart jobs previously assigned to them and work closely with them to get as much as possible done,” he said.
“Our assessors will continue to work closely with landowners and contractors to prioritise efforts and visit sites. 132 of the 397 remaining jobs still require assessment and prioritisation, 15 silt jobs, 103 general debris and 14 wood debris jobs.
Wairoa District Council Mayor Craig Little said some funding from the $10 million would be allocated to Wairoa to progress stage two of the work on removing woody debris.
“Funding for the next stage of cleaning up the woody debris stacked on rivers and beaches is critical as we lead into summer. We need to look at the end use for the debris, the risks of which were made clear by a recent fire in two stacks of wood on Whakamahi beach.”
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