Saturday, April 20, 2024

Funding boost for Hawke’s Bay silt squad

The Government has pledged an additional $10 million to Hawke’s Bay’s Silt Recovery Taskforce, which will allow sediment and debris collection and management to continue into October, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council confirmed today.

Council Chair, Hinewai Ormsby says that while more funding was still needed, it was a relief that the Taskforce could continue to work for another month, focused on landowners needing to plant and spray ahead of the growing season.

“We estimate this latest money will help us complete 50 jobs and move around 200,000m3 of sediment and debris during October,” she said.

“We currently have 223 jobs waiting to be completed and an estimated 1.2 million m3 of sediment and debris in the system waiting to be collected.

“While we’re thankful to the Government for the additional funding to continue on for the next month, we’re disappointed we won’t be able to complete all of these jobs and that there will be people in the community left with sediment and debris on their property.”

Silt Recovery Taskforce Lead, Darren de Klerk said the Taskforce would focus on high priority jobs for October.

“Our team will be prioritising which jobs get completed because we know we can’t get to everyone. We will be focusing on jobs that were abandoned when we implemented the funding restriction and then moving onto other high priority jobs,” said Mr de Klerk.

“We need to implement a closing date for collection requests to be logged. We ask those affected and requiring a collection – even if they aren’t ready yet – to log a collection request with the Regional Council by Friday 6 October so we can prioritise which jobs get completed, and so we can continue to lobby Government for more funding with a full picture of the job ahead of us.

“We are concerned for businesses receiving co-funding from the commercial fund for sediment and debris recovery that the Taskforce won’t be able to collect what they’ve cleaned up.

“For jobs we won’t be able to get to, we are committed to engaging and supporting landowners to look for solutions,” said Mr de Klerk.

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