In-depth discussions are about to start with more than 20 communities that were highly impacted from Cyclone Gabrielle, to help inform the Heretaunga Hastings Locality Plan.
A high-level preliminary plan that had been developed with mana whenua partners has been released, outlining the immediate priorities and actions that will enable communities to stand strong again and lay the framework for Heretaunga to build back better and more resilient.
The Government required the first version in a short three-week timeframe to enable it to make initial funding decisions on the district’s immediate needs.
It covers the costs for elements such as road and bridge repairs, managing waste and silt, engaging impacted communities on the next version of the Locality Plan, initiatives to keep communities connected, and help for primary industry.
The locality plan has six main focus areas – recovery transition, community and whānau wellbeing, resilient infrastructure, primary sector, economic growth and environmental resilience.
The locality planning process is just one of a number of longer-term streams of work currently underway.
The next version, which has an August deadline, will be prepared with input from every one of the highly impacted communities – those where homes were flooded and those that were isolated from the rest of the district.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the impact on individual communities was significant and challenging, and having these conversations with each of them was very important.
“We will ensure everyone in those areas who wants to have a say has the opportunity to do so.
“Our teams will be asking people how they want to engage, the best way to keep in contact with them, and what they think should be added into their community’s recovery plan.
“We know the most the important thing for our communities right now is knowing if they are going to be able to stay in our hardest hit areas.
“We are working with the Government to ensure our people have the information they need.
“Both we and the Government know that our communities need information quickly and that it’s critical that it be the right information.”
Recovery teams across central and local government, together with insurance industry representatives, are in the process of assessing future flood risks for specific areas, and to understand the implications of those risks so they can work together with impacted communities to develop a plan for the future that is based on those risk assessments.
Hawke’s Bay councils and government are working together to ensure there is robust information for decision-making and effective community engagement, while recognising that some of the key issue will require Government decisions.
To view the plan go to https://hastings.infocouncil.biz/Open/2023/05/COR_04052023_AGN_5666_AT.PDF
4 May 2023
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