GDC focused on ‘icing the cake’ rather than basic infrastructure

LETTER

So now the Waioeka Gorge is closed yet again, our Mayor wakes up and decides to grab the opportunity for a bit of self-promoting publicity.

But where has he been on the matter of access over the past 20 years?! Too absorbed in walkways and cultural makeovers, that’s where!

He and his council have not had their eye on the ball for years — focusing on “icing on the cake” stuff instead of the basic infrastructure and the debt problem.

Thanks to this inattention, our district is now very vulnerable to economic disruption from weather events — and doesn’t have the financial ability to tackle the vital issues.

The recent Tolaga Bay wood debris storm demonstrates how the Mayor and council have not enforced basic resource management, with a massive clean-up bill the result.

The impact of forestry on back roads is a major concern and now we have been reminded again of the cost of damage to a major highway link.

Time is well overdue that the council and Mayor pull their heads out of the sand, stop wasting time and money on things like the sestercentennial, and attend to the basics which are the lifeblood of the district.

Roger Handford

Footnote response from Mayor Meng Foon:

I have been battling route security for our region for a long time.

We have a route security project in the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan — for State Highway 2 Opotiki-Gisborne-Wairoa-Napier, and State Highway 35. We are working hard with NZTA for route security.

So now the Waioeka Gorge is closed yet again, our Mayor wakes up and decides to grab the opportunity for a bit of self-promoting publicity.

But where has he been on the matter of access over the past 20 years?! Too absorbed in walkways and cultural makeovers, that’s where!

He and his council have not had their eye on the ball for years — focusing on “icing on the cake” stuff instead of the basic infrastructure and the debt problem.

Thanks to this inattention, our district is now very vulnerable to economic disruption from weather events — and doesn’t have the financial ability to tackle the vital issues.

The recent Tolaga Bay wood debris storm demonstrates how the Mayor and council have not enforced basic resource management, with a massive clean-up bill the result.

The impact of forestry on back roads is a major concern and now we have been reminded again of the cost of damage to a major highway link.

Time is well overdue that the council and Mayor pull their heads out of the sand, stop wasting time and money on things like the sestercentennial, and attend to the basics which are the lifeblood of the district.

Roger Handford

Footnote response from Mayor Meng Foon:

I have been battling route security for our region for a long time.

We have a route security project in the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan — for State Highway 2 Opotiki-Gisborne-Wairoa-Napier, and State Highway 35. We are working hard with NZTA for route security.

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John Fricker - 4 months ago
As long as you've employed a consultant to look and report you're happy Mr Foon.
We need someone to roll their sleeves up and get the spades out.
Until and unless communications to this region are upgraded and made more reliable, any money spent on promoting it to tourists and industry is wasted.
Jam tomorrow just doesn't do it.

Turei Kaa - 4 months ago
The trouble with Poverty Bay and Gisborne is it's full of whingers. You know, we have council elections every three years - pretty much anyone can run for council, anyone. So we do the democratic thing, have our vote, but lo and behold the disgruntled are not happy after a lot of dummy-spitting, toy-throwing and back-stabbing. By geez, they're good at that. Thank God for democracy, isn't it great fullas? Doesn't it remind you of American politics? So beautiful.

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