Mayor urges council to invest in infrastructure

He says council outlays should have 'call-back', with assurances on return of money.

He says council outlays should have 'call-back', with assurances on return of money.

Persimmons, one of the crops expected to expand in this region. File picture

GISBORNE is about to experience an economic explosion that will put pressure on existing infrastructure, Mayor Meng Foon has said.

He believes the area east of Makaraka and Taruheru–Cameron Road should be clearly identified for high-density housing.

His comments came at a Future Tairawhiti committee meeting at which councillors approved a long-term work programme presented by strategic planning adviser Kim Smith for reviewing its resource management and development policy.

Mr Foon said when he was first on the Poverty Bay Flats there used to be one covered kiwifruit orchard. If you flew over now, there were more than 20.

That was fantastic use of resources and production. He knew of another 200 acres that was going to be planted.

Kaiaponi Farms was producing 200,000 cases of one type of apple alone. In four years that would be one million and this was from just one company.

A phenomenal amount of kiwifruit and persimmons was being planted. These would need more packhouses and cool stores.

“If someone says where can I build my next packhouse or coolstore, what are we going to say? Where is the land for it?"

Forestry booming

Forestry was at 2.5 million tonnes production. Next year it would be three million and eventually the sustainable cut would be 3.5 million.

He did not believe it when the late Bob Elliott told him there would be a truck every three or four seconds. Now trucks were coming in groups of six at a time. They were already clogged up at the port.

“We are not providing infrastructure and planning. We have to look a bit more expansively in that area of Makaraka. There is some light industrial land zoned but it needs infrastructure to actually make this happen.

“We need to be bold enough to invest in infrastructure but with a call-back, knowing that we are going to get our money back.”

This was an investment.

“I don’t want to hear the words ‘it's going to cost us money’.”

“We have got about 1000 projects in front of us. There are some real key ones that are going to soak up a lot of dough.

“That's why I'm saying if it takes 10 years and it's able to be managed, that's fine.”

If the cost of planning was going to be $10 million in the next 10 years, he could accept that. It did not necessarily mean more staff, it could be the cost of more scientific reports and information.

The district’s expansion was an excellent problem to have. A growing economy was great.

Graeme Thomson said the number of lifestyle blocks in the Cameron Road-Taruheru area would make it impossible to establish high-density housing there. There had been no real plan for future expansion.

Acting planning and development group manager David Wilson said it was unfair to say there had been no plan for development. Future development included four pumping stations.

“We have a plan,” he said.

Andy Cranston said the council had promoted future development in the Awapuni Road area by encouraging existing businesses to move but that plan seemed to have fallen off the radar.

GISBORNE is about to experience an economic explosion that will put pressure on existing infrastructure, Mayor Meng Foon has said.

He believes the area east of Makaraka and Taruheru–Cameron Road should be clearly identified for high-density housing.

His comments came at a Future Tairawhiti committee meeting at which councillors approved a long-term work programme presented by strategic planning adviser Kim Smith for reviewing its resource management and development policy.

Mr Foon said when he was first on the Poverty Bay Flats there used to be one covered kiwifruit orchard. If you flew over now, there were more than 20.

That was fantastic use of resources and production. He knew of another 200 acres that was going to be planted.

Kaiaponi Farms was producing 200,000 cases of one type of apple alone. In four years that would be one million and this was from just one company.

A phenomenal amount of kiwifruit and persimmons was being planted. These would need more packhouses and cool stores.

“If someone says where can I build my next packhouse or coolstore, what are we going to say? Where is the land for it?"

Forestry booming

Forestry was at 2.5 million tonnes production. Next year it would be three million and eventually the sustainable cut would be 3.5 million.

He did not believe it when the late Bob Elliott told him there would be a truck every three or four seconds. Now trucks were coming in groups of six at a time. They were already clogged up at the port.

“We are not providing infrastructure and planning. We have to look a bit more expansively in that area of Makaraka. There is some light industrial land zoned but it needs infrastructure to actually make this happen.

“We need to be bold enough to invest in infrastructure but with a call-back, knowing that we are going to get our money back.”

This was an investment.

“I don’t want to hear the words ‘it's going to cost us money’.”

“We have got about 1000 projects in front of us. There are some real key ones that are going to soak up a lot of dough.

“That's why I'm saying if it takes 10 years and it's able to be managed, that's fine.”

If the cost of planning was going to be $10 million in the next 10 years, he could accept that. It did not necessarily mean more staff, it could be the cost of more scientific reports and information.

The district’s expansion was an excellent problem to have. A growing economy was great.

Graeme Thomson said the number of lifestyle blocks in the Cameron Road-Taruheru area would make it impossible to establish high-density housing there. There had been no real plan for future expansion.

Acting planning and development group manager David Wilson said it was unfair to say there had been no plan for development. Future development included four pumping stations.

“We have a plan,” he said.

Andy Cranston said the council had promoted future development in the Awapuni Road area by encouraging existing businesses to move but that plan seemed to have fallen off the radar.

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Gillian Ward - 4 months ago
The expansion in horticulture noted at Thursday's Future Tairawhiti committee meeting needs to be supported by reinstating the option of rail freight. This is what businesses involved in the export of fresh produce are asking for. If our Regional Council Transport Committee and Gisborne District Council strongly represented this view, this would increase the chances of central government supporting the economic development of this region by funding the repair of the railway line. NZTA is currently developing an Integrated Transport Priority Plan for East Coast and Hawke's Bay and the benefits of rail will be considered as part of our region's transport network. Now would be a good time for the council to clearly state that restoration of the railway line would support this planned growth and investment.

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