Wairoa is a truly fortunate district.

We sit at the top of Hawke’s Bay immersed in culture and surrounded by jewels.

We are proud of our strong and resilient community spirit.

And now we have another taonga to add to our kete. That of a united and purposeful relationship with our post-treaty settlement governance entities, Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust and Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust.

Covid-19 has presented massive challenges, but it has also allowed us to demonstrate our rangatiratanga and what can be achieved by working in a collaborative manner.

Wairoa’s economic recovery is a partnership journey by the Wairoa District Council, Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust (TToTWT) and Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust

Together we have developed Whakamanahia a Te Wairoa: Empowering Wairoa, which will tap into Wairoa’s potential to develop a community driven, aligned, focussed and coordinated socio-economic response to Covid-19.

This response focuses on immediate actions, employment and short and long-term projects, that address the current response and align with the aims of Wairoa. We are working together to recover and grow a resilient Wairoa that achieves economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing.

This Wairoa based coordinated approach is accessing the Government’s Covid-19 economic recovery funding.

While we are working at a regional level with the rest of Hawke’s Bay on some projects, Whakamanahia a Te Wairoa: Empowering Wairoa, is a very localised approach.

We want solutions that suit us, and an iwi/local government led application is the result.

We worked out decades ago that Wairoa is not a one-size-fits-all kind of place; this is about meeting the unique needs of our community.

Our three organisations all aspire to the same outcomes. We want to look after our environment. We want our whanau to prosper, and we want more jobs for our young people.

These outcomes were combined with the impacts the coronavirus had on Wairoa across the four alert levels and the predicted recovery rate.

That led to us identifying projects, some that were already underway and can be leveraged off, some based on recovery, and others based on empowering which creates employment and builds skills in the short-term and long-term.

Identified projects that are already up and running and can be built off include:

  • Growing Future Farmers
  • HPMV Bridge strengthening
  • Mahia Resilient Roads
  • Nuhaka River Road alignment
  • QRS Operations Hub
  • Patangata Bridge Replacement
  • Te Wairoa E Whanake main street revitalisation and Digital Hub
  • Expansion of The Limery juicing and processing capacity
  • Wairoa Digital Employment Programme
  • Wairoa Job Shop, and
  • Waitepatu Rangatahi Washout Repair.

Recovery projects include:

  • Airport extension
  • Dust suppression
  • HPMV Bridge strengthening
  • Mahia Resilient Roads
  • Māori Enterprise
  • Marae Recovery
  • Predator Free Mahia
  • Puāwaitia Te Takapau Horanui
  • Riparian planting
  • Town Hall tidy up
  • Urban drain piping
  • Wairoa horticultural hub
  • Wharerakau housing project, walkway and cycleway extension
  • 3 Waters – UV, filtration and monitoring, storage and irrigation.

Empowering projects include:

  • Māra Pūngao Energy Co-op
  • QRS training hub
  • Rakaaipaaka Hub
  • Te Kura Taiao
  • Whakarauora Ngā Awa
  • 3 Waters discharge diffuser
  • 3 Waters Opoutama wastewater treatment, storage and irrigation.

Whakamanahia a Te Wairoa: Empowering Wairoa is now in the hands of the Government and we are hopeful our projects will receive the necessary funding.

For me the journey of recovery is already empowering Wairoa as it demonstrates just what can happen through a collaborative approach with everyone simply wanting the very best for our whole district.

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