For over six years a group of about 35 stakeholders — including Peter Beaven and me for the Regional Council…
I first presented this list of accomplishments of our current council at a public campaign forum. Here is a video of that presentation (about 14 min for the hard core viewer).
And here is the campaign video ad version (about 1 min).
Back to our core mission
With a working majority of councillors on the same page, our current Council put the environment first, while enabling sustainable economic opportunities into the future. We …
- Stopped Regional Council support for the Ruataniwha dam.
- Future-proofed our Port to serve our expanding export economy, at NO ratepayer cost, while protecting local control, raising an additional $108m to support environmental objectives, plus adding $120m to our balance sheet at the same time.
- Stopped over-allocation of HB’s precious water, capping takes from the Heretaunga aquifer at the present level, while winning $30m in Gov’t support to develop environmentally sound water storage options.
- Began a $30m programme to clean-up our waterways by riparian planting, stock exclusion & erosion control, topped off with $5.4m Gov’t grant.
- Required over 1,000 Farm Environmental Plans to manage nutrient pollution in the Tukituki catchment. Farm plans like these will be required throughout HB in just a few years.
- Launched a Biodiversity Trust, seeded with $600k, to enhance biodiversity efforts and leverage external funding.
- Launched a project to make the entire Mahia peninsula predator free, with $3m in external funding.
- Upgraded key reserves like Pakowhai Park and the Waitangi Estuary.
- Leveraged nearly $3m from Gov’t to improve environmental ‘hotspots’ like Lake Tutira, Whakaki Lake & Ahuriri Estuary.
- Secured $5m from Gov’t to help re-open the Napier-Wairoa rail line.
- Secured $1.1m to begin in January sophisticated 3D mapping of Heretaunga & Ruataniwha aquifers, giving much better scientific precision to our water planning.
[In case you’re counting, this brings the total Govt $$ brought into HB to about $56m in our current term.]
- Began first-ever underwater surveying of the Hawke Bay marine environment.
- Established a Future Farming Trust to demonstrate that farming in HB can and must be profitable and environmentally-sustainable at the same time.
- Expanded our Sustainable Homes programme to include loan support for residential water storage, modern septic systems and solar power.
- Adopted a new 20-year Regional Pest Management Strategy, adding pests like feral cats and goats to the scheme.
- Required public notification (unlike previous councils) for any new water bottling consents (since then, none have been submitted).
- Initiated a plan change to bar oil & gas development in water-sensitive areas of HB.
- Declared a ‘climate emergency’ and committed our region to being carbon neutral by 2040, backed by initial actions to reduce HBRC’s own carbon footprint & address coastal hazards.