Northland Regional Council has revealed a suite of new cyclone recovery measures, including a ‘pragmatic’ approach to non-compliance and the freeing up of funding to help repair storm-damaged fences.
Council Chair, Tui Shortland said trees in rivers were also a significant issue set to be addressed by the new measures.
The scale of the problem had become apparent during a recent site visit to Kaihu, Awakino and Paparoa River Catchments, she said.
“The scale of the issue in some of these areas is considered to be beyond the ability of landowners to complete the clean-up works through their own resources.”
The council has allocated $500,000 to help remove the trees and says it will prioritise areas where there is highest risk of river blockage and subsequent impacts.
“We aim to commence these works as soon as possible to enable as much clearing of trees as possible before the winter wet weather hits us,” said Chair Shortland.
She said the council was in discussions with central government agencies to discuss the possibility of additional central government funding for the tree removal process.
Council is also looking to make up to $300,000 of land management funding available to support landowners, marae and hapu to rebuild riparian fencing damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle.
“There would also be funding engagement with whanau, marae and hapu through kaitiaki to better understand their recovery needs in the taiao.”
The council is also planning to contribute $5,000 to the Te Araroa Trail trust to assist with the clean-up of tree fall and track damage.
Further information on how these funds can be accessed will be made available on the council’s website over the next couple of weeks, said Chair Shortland.
Councillors have backed a ‘pragmatic’ approach by staff to any non-compliance caused or contributed to by Cyclone Gabrielle.