Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s newly-elected chair, Hinewai Ormsby, says she will work collectively to solve the region’s challenges of resource and environmental sustainability.
“We have huge challenges that we as a governance group will confront together,” Ms Ormsby says.
“We need to get our Kotahi plan underway to set the policy and operational direction for the management of our natural resources, and implement massive environmental and resource reforms coming from Central Government.
“Biodiversity enhancement, through protecting existing critical habitats and planting more native rakau (trees) in the right places is essential to prepare us for climate change.”
The Regional Council needs to prepare for climate change impacts, including water quality and security for the environment and people, she says.
Ms Ormsby, of of Ngāti Paaru, Ngāti Hinepare, Ngāti Mahu and Ngai Tawhao descent, brings rich community-based experience to the role.
She is chair of Waiohiki marae, leading the completion of a capital build programme for housing developments for the whānau Papakāinga on site.
In partnership with her husband, Cam, she runs a native tree growing nursery and donates hundreds of plants to community plantings every year and runs an award-winning eco-cultural tourism business, Napier Māori Tours.
As a former science teacher, she is well placed to understand and translate the complexities of environmental and resource management.
Ms Ormsby says she will be a firm and inclusive leader.
“We must be brave and confront our region’s challenges for our people and for the benefit of our taiao (environment),” she said.