Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Inter-agency meeting on Marlborough recovery

Agencies working together following Marlborough’s recent weather event came together today to discuss the region’s plan for recovery.

Marlborough District Council’s Recovery Manager, Dean Heiford said life has returned to normal for the majority of the local population following the recent weather event.

“However, the communities of Rai Valley, Canvastown, Kenepuru, Okiwi Bay, French Pass, d’Urville Island, Port Underwood and Queen Charlotte Drive remain without, or with very limited, road access,” Mr Heiford said.

“These residents and communities face a long journey back to normality. In some places, in particular in the Marlborough Sounds, the roads as we knew them will never be the same due to the extent of the damage caused in July last year, and then again a couple of weeks ago,” Mr Heiford said. “We recognise the increased pressure and stress this event has had on residents living in affected areas and the disruption it has brought to their daily lives.”

“This year our inter-agency recovery plan follows a format established by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). It focuses on the immediate recovery and also incorporates the longer term recovery work that is being led by Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wheeler, and Council’s Manager for Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Neil Henry. We will be working closely with our iwi partners as we carry out this important recovery mahi.”

The immediate recovery plan focusses on the Social, Built, Natural and Economic aspects and will see experts in these fields taking the lead in these areas, Mr Heiford said.

“This allows our experts to set priorities for their areas of recovery, ensuring efficiencies and creating their own mini-networks,” he said.

Marlborough Mayor, John Leggett said it was great to see the inter-agency team pull together to ensure a connected, cohesive approach to Marlborough’s recovery.

“The team has been quick to recognise the long term implications of this event and the importance of bringing people together early as we embark on the recovery journey,” Mayor Leggett said.

“Unfortunately we are well-versed in responding to the events Mother Nature has handed out to our region but we are ahead of where we were following last year’s event and I’m sure this momentum will continue,” he said.

Mr Heiford said one of the first recovery priorities is to speak with communities who have been affected.

“We are in the process of organising communities meetings either in person or online and we will be in touch with more information on this as soon as possible,” he said.

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