Council’s Environment and Policy management has confirmed
its new strategy for environmental monitoring in the region,
which includes bringing some functions back in-house and
tendering lab testing to an external company.
“For 16 years we have contracted our monitoring and
reporting functions out to Gisborne company Hydro
Technologies Limited (HTL),” says environmental and
regulatory services group manager, Kevin Strongman.
“Council’s long term plan to keep rates under 2% average
increase for the next three years and keep debt low, means
we needed to review the way we perform our environmental
monitoring function and to be able to deliver the same or
better level of service more efficiently.”
“we had investigated bringing monitoring back in-house,
just as a majority of other regional councils do, and we
determined there were overall better outcomes to doing the
Shared services science manager Lois Easton says “Six new
specialist jobs are being created meaning that Council can
respond better to changing regulations and requirements from
central government, as well as increased requirements like
for freshwater management that will be required in the near
“We’ll be able to rapidly allocate staff resources to
respond to extraordinary events, including outside normal
hours, and able to schedule work with other Council
functions in remote areas.
“It will allow us to access National Environmental
Monitoring Standards that only regional councils can join
into, the ability to increase the range of sampling we do at
no extra costs, a better understanding of field work
conditions and more comprehensive feedback,” says Ms
The lab testing function would still need to be sourced by
an external supplier and was put out to public tender.
Three tenders were received. “Two were from companies
outside the region and one from HTL,” says Mr Strongman.
“Our policy for awarding contracts includes criteria for
using local suppliers, in this case the local supplier price
was more than double what was offered by the other 2
tenderers and the buy local factor did not change the
ranking of the tenderers
“The cost difference of going with the local supplier
would have been the equivalent of adding a further 0.5%
increase to rates.
“It doesn’t make the decision any less hard, we’ve had
a 16 year relationship with HTL which was originally set up
with council staff members in 1999,
“We’re disappointed that they weren’t the successful
tenderer on this occasion and realise it will be a difficult
time for the business.” Read more >>
Project managers of the Titirangi harvest from Council and
Ngati Oneone have made the tough call to extend the closure
of the road for a further week until Friday 29 May.
“We regret the inconvenience to users of the hill but we
want to do a really good job of cleaning up the log debris
from the site,” says acting planning and development
manager Geoff Canham.
“This certainly is not a typical forestry site, we need to
clean up as much of the debris as possible to prepare the
ground for hydro-seeding and re-planting.
“We are also complying with the strict resource consent
conditions to begin rehabilitating the site to a more
“This will involve native plants as a food source to
invite the birds and native wildlife back to Titirangi.”
A schedule of community planting days is being worked on and
dates and information will be available soon.
“We’ll be in touch with people that have registered
their interest, contacting school groups, environment and
community groups, residents and also putting it out to the
wider community to come get involved,” says Mr Canham.
If anyone would like to register to be involved with the
• Contact customer services on 06 867 2049
• Email your contact details to
• Register you interest with GisborneDC on Facebook
• Contact councillors;
Meredith Akuhata-Brown 0272005605, Josh Wharehinga
0275125195, Larry Foster 0274508814
Council and Ngati Oneone are working on a co-management
agreement for the project and ongoing management of the
reserve in the future.
Proposals for further enhancement of Titirangi made to the
Long Term Plan 2015-2025 will be explored in the reserve
plan going forward. Read more >>
Members of the community will make their submissions heard
at hearings on the draft Long Term Plan 2015 – 2025 next
Council’s month long consultation on the draft plan ended
on 17 April with a total of 308 written submissions from a
majority of local individuals or community groups.
“That’s over a thousand pages of submissions for Council
to read and comprehend,” says Mayor Meng Foon,
“Our community engaged with us through many modes of
communication, at public meetings, through email, Facebook,
twitter. I received phone calls and was stopped by people
for a chat in the supermarket and at the Farmers market.
“It will be an intense 3 days of concentration as we hear
from just a fraction of those submitters.”
68 submitters who wanted to speak to their submissions will
each make 10 minute presentations to Councillors when
hearings start on Monday, running through until Wednesday
School students from a number of schools contributed to
submissions and groups from Wainui Beach School and Ormond
School will present on their proposed ideas for future
At Wainui Beach School a team of 4 senior students consulted
with 5 classes and gathered responses to a series of
questions relating to the Tairawhiti area and some of the
Council projects included in the ten year plan.
When asked what changes would they would like to see,
responses included recycling bins at parks and sports
grounds, ideas for activities and developments at the
Olympic Pools, suggestions for the Titirangi Restoration and
more plantings in playgrounds and reserves.
Olympic Pool manager Hendrik Geyer said it was great to see
students taking an active interest in future development,
some of the ideas for the Olympic Pool Complex we can try to
implement in time for this summer.
The proposed plans for cycle and walkways was by far the
most talked about topic with 214 submission comments; almost
95% of those in support of cycleway projects
As part of their submission Tourism Eastland encouraged
Council to “Continue investment in cycling infrastructure
as this makes our city a nicer place to be and provides
active transport solutions and cycle tourism.”
The draft plan shows a staged approach to creating a whole
network of routes and safety improvements in both Gisborne
and rural communities. Many submissions provided arguments
for and against the priority of which cycleways should be
Strategic manager David Wilson says “Council can consider
prioritising school cycling routes within the current
budgets set for each year.”
Mayor Meng Foon says overall submissions show a very
positive view of this plan, with a large number of people in
support of the direction we’re going in.
“This is exciting for our 10 year plan. We have set a good
base going forward.”
Hearings at Council Chambers in Fitzherbert Street are open
to the public 9am – 3pm Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 May and
9am – 10.30am Wednesday 20 May.
A meeting of Council takes place on Thursday 21 May at 9am
to deliberate on submissions. Read more >>
One of the biggest PVC pipelines in the Gisborne district is
about to be installed over the next 2 weeks as Council
commences work on the new Steele Road wastewater pressure
“We will be drilling and open trenching 750 meters of
pipeline along Steele Road, Matthews Road and Wainui Road
over the next week or two,” says water utilities manager
“‘Pipe strings’ are currently being welded together in
lengths of 60 to 120 meters.”
The pipe will then be pulled from the welding area to the
drill rig, then the rig will drill a cavity for the pipe and
pull the pipe string into position in the ground.
Most of the pipeline will be directionally drilled at 2
meters deep, with some open excavation for road crossings.
“This means at times access to properties will be
restricted and we will need to take the pipe strings across
the road to the drill rig,” says Mr West,
“Contractors will ensure people are informed if access to
houses in the area will be affected.”
The pipeline conveys wastewater flows from 550 households in
the Steele Road area into the main interceptor on Wainui
The current pipeline is in poor condition and being renewed
as part of Council’s wastewater renewal programme in the
current ten year plan.
Council are proposing to spend another $22 million in the
long term plan for 2015 – 2025 on work that will reduce
wastewater discharge into our waterways. Read more >>
There has been increased interest in the Kale, Chard and
Stevia that has been planted along Gladstone Road and in the
Fitzherbert Street roundabout as part of Council's winter
street planting theme.
People have been asking if the plants are available for the
public to pick and take home to eat.
"These are definitely the same type of veges you want to
cook up for winter soups or even grow in your home
garden,” says acting planning and development manager
“But it’s important to remember that plants that grow on
the side of high-traffic roads like these have a good chance
of being contaminated by chemical run-off from vehicles."
“These varieties were selected along with a combination of
natives and exotic annuals to give an eye-catching texture
and colour to the road islands and CBD planters,” says Mr
“They’re essentially demonstration plantings to trial
for the ‘Our Place’ project that is looking to include
edible gardens in public places elsewhere in the city.”
If you are interested in picking your own free fresh veges
there are a range of community gardens run by local
organisations in Gisborne and rural areas.
EIT Tairawhiti run a series of community garden activities
throughout the district with community organisations like
The Environment Centre, with the purpose to help residents
in communities to get involved, learn about gardening and to
share knowledge, seeds and kai.
A new intake of EIT Level 2 Rural Studies will be open in
July offering students education in food growing basics that
leads into Level 3 course in sustainable growing, organics,
natural fertilisers and worm farming.
Locally grown Kale, Silverbeet and Chard and other seasonal
veges are also available from the earlybird and farmers
markets at good prices.
Council reminds people that food harvested from roadsides
could potentially contain harmful contaminants and picking
plants could also be a hazard for traffic. Read more >>