Busy week — may the sun shine

Pat Seymour

COLUMN

The community of Uawa Tolaga Bay and inland Whangara have had an eventful week and for some families a very scary time. We are grateful that no lives were lost and those most severely affected have had whanau and the community pull together to help. Help will need to be ongoing as its takes weeks for wet homes to dry out and for silted pastures to recover, to say nothing of the logs and debris that greet some of our community every day at the moment.

The council roading team and local contractors are working hard to get roads back into a safe, usable state. That will take many more weeks as the degree of damage becomes apparent. Do check the council website for updates on weather and the status of roads. We do not need another weather bomb any time soon!

Much is being written in The Gisborne Herald for the community on various aspects of the severe rainfall event and its legacy, so I shall confine the rest of this “what’s on” to the council meetings of this week.

On Tuesday we have the District Licensing Committee hearing an application for a new off-licence at the corner of Gladstone Road and Carnarvan Street. There are a range of submitters in opposition to this application.

On Wednesday we have Community Development at 9am and Environmental Planning and Regulations at 1pm. The Tairawhiti Museum director and the chairman will present the museum’s annual plan for 2018-2019 and the business plan for 2019-2022.

There is an update on the Titirangi Navigations Historical Interpretations project, a $2.25 million project grant-funded by ECT. The project is “Tupapa — Our stand. Our story”. There will be 10 trail markers along the pathway telling stories. Installation is due to start in July, so watch this space for further developments within the harbour and Titirangi area. The committee report also contains financial updates for the quarter to April 30.

The Environmental Planning and Regulation committee will hear from the Institute of Geological Science (GNS) on some significant research it is doing in the Gisborne District Council region. GNS and Niwa are jointly undertaking a study to better understand the perils posed by the Hikurangi subduction zone. This zone extends from near Cook Strait to beyond East Cape but the research work has been focused on Gisborne-Tairawhiti. It is part of a $6m project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

There is a report on a cross-section of the Protected Management Areas in our region. The field survey and assessment looked at 15 percent of the PMAs but has produced some useful guidance for the council in terms of priority for investment and encouragement for the ongoing protection and enhancement of remnants of native forest. There is a quarterly report for this department too.

Thursday sees a comprehensive finance committee agenda. There is the approval of the Statement of Intent for Gisborne Holdings Ltd; of interest to readers is the projected $1.8m dividend to GDC for the next three years. An annual report recommends the write-off of $507,000 of statute-barred rates; this is debt six years old and unable to be collected through the court system.

An external audit plan will be presented and we have all the regular financial reports, as well as the NZ Transport Agency Investment Audit Report. This mainly covers whether GDC spent the money NZTA gave us wisely. Did we monitor the contractors and the deliverables appropriately? Is there room to do better? It is an interesting report. We have infrastructure on Thursday afternoon but no agenda just yet.

May the sun shine this week to allow homes and farmland to dry out!

The community of Uawa Tolaga Bay and inland Whangara have had an eventful week and for some families a very scary time. We are grateful that no lives were lost and those most severely affected have had whanau and the community pull together to help. Help will need to be ongoing as its takes weeks for wet homes to dry out and for silted pastures to recover, to say nothing of the logs and debris that greet some of our community every day at the moment.

The council roading team and local contractors are working hard to get roads back into a safe, usable state. That will take many more weeks as the degree of damage becomes apparent. Do check the council website for updates on weather and the status of roads. We do not need another weather bomb any time soon!

Much is being written in The Gisborne Herald for the community on various aspects of the severe rainfall event and its legacy, so I shall confine the rest of this “what’s on” to the council meetings of this week.

On Tuesday we have the District Licensing Committee hearing an application for a new off-licence at the corner of Gladstone Road and Carnarvan Street. There are a range of submitters in opposition to this application.

On Wednesday we have Community Development at 9am and Environmental Planning and Regulations at 1pm. The Tairawhiti Museum director and the chairman will present the museum’s annual plan for 2018-2019 and the business plan for 2019-2022.

There is an update on the Titirangi Navigations Historical Interpretations project, a $2.25 million project grant-funded by ECT. The project is “Tupapa — Our stand. Our story”. There will be 10 trail markers along the pathway telling stories. Installation is due to start in July, so watch this space for further developments within the harbour and Titirangi area. The committee report also contains financial updates for the quarter to April 30.

The Environmental Planning and Regulation committee will hear from the Institute of Geological Science (GNS) on some significant research it is doing in the Gisborne District Council region. GNS and Niwa are jointly undertaking a study to better understand the perils posed by the Hikurangi subduction zone. This zone extends from near Cook Strait to beyond East Cape but the research work has been focused on Gisborne-Tairawhiti. It is part of a $6m project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

There is a report on a cross-section of the Protected Management Areas in our region. The field survey and assessment looked at 15 percent of the PMAs but has produced some useful guidance for the council in terms of priority for investment and encouragement for the ongoing protection and enhancement of remnants of native forest. There is a quarterly report for this department too.

Thursday sees a comprehensive finance committee agenda. There is the approval of the Statement of Intent for Gisborne Holdings Ltd; of interest to readers is the projected $1.8m dividend to GDC for the next three years. An annual report recommends the write-off of $507,000 of statute-barred rates; this is debt six years old and unable to be collected through the court system.

An external audit plan will be presented and we have all the regular financial reports, as well as the NZ Transport Agency Investment Audit Report. This mainly covers whether GDC spent the money NZTA gave us wisely. Did we monitor the contractors and the deliverables appropriately? Is there room to do better? It is an interesting report. We have infrastructure on Thursday afternoon but no agenda just yet.

May the sun shine this week to allow homes and farmland to dry out!

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