Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Wairoa District Council are working together to clean up woody debris left by Cyclone Gabrielle around the Wairoa district.
The Councils say the massive clean-up will include efforts at local beaches and around bridges.
Wairoa District Council Chief Executive, Kitea Tipuna said there was significant debris on beaches throughout the Wairoa district.
The Regional Council has begun its scoping work and will start removing wood and debris at Māhia, Opoutama and Whakamahia beaches, with the Regional Council Works Group tackling the clean-up at Nuhaka.
“We are working with local infrastructure teams to gather information for the Regional Council around bridges throughout the district, including the railway bridge in Wairoa,” said Mr Tipuna.
He said around a dozen sites had been identified so far, with the project expected to take many months to complete. Priority sites have been determined based on health and safety requirements.
“Where possible local contractors will be used, and disposal options will include repurposing and recycling, such as mulching and chipping, working in partnership with the community and in the most environmentally appropriate way.”
“Please be patient, contractors cannot be everywhere at once, and because this project is being started as we head into winter, we expect some weather-related delays. This work is an integral part of our recovery, and we aim to have local connectors on the ground to work with communities. We are also working collaboratively at a regional level with both our provincial neighbours.
“We are also relying on local knowledge and encourage people to report areas that need debris removed by following Council’s CSR (Customer Service Request) process either online https://www.wairoadc.govt.nz/contact-us/customer-service-request/ or by phoning the Council on 06 838 7309 or calling into our Queen Street office.”
Regional Council Asset Management Group Manager, Chris Dolley says the Regional Council was making good headway on the clean-up, with physical work expected to start over the next week or so.
“Our wood clean-up and recovery programme are being informed by the information our team is gathering, what we’re hearing from the public, in collaboration with the Wairoa District Council and by the two reports from the Regional Council and the Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group analysing the make-up of woody debris,” said Mr Dolley.
Two funds from Government will support the clean-up of woody debris, including the $10.15m wood debris fund and the $62.6m Sediment and Debris Recovery Fund for commercial entities.