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Annual phone survey has begun
18 Jun 2015
You may get a phone call this month asking you to take part in our annual resident satisfaction survey. Read more >>
Oneora's finishing touches with local support
8 Jun 2015
350 plants have been planted and 15,000 screws have been installed, all by volunteer labour as construction of the 1km long Oneroa cycle and walkway nears completion. On Saturday 6 June, Aborcare and Rotary Club of Gisborne West donated their time and effort to setting out and planting 350 natives around the 2 bbq areas along the walkway. “This has been a real community driven project,” says project manager Kylie Cranston, “we’re very lucky to have support from groups such as Rotary and our contractors.” Members of the Certified Builders Association provided volunteer labour to install some of the 3,800 decking boards over the past 3 weeks. “It was an awesome effort from a number of local building firms including Character Building and Roofing Ltd, Steve Candy Building, Brendan Fry Builder, JB Puddick Ltd, Steve Crail Builder, Fogarty Construction, Digby Toothill Builders and Shayne Tuapawa.” The boardwalk will be finished next week with the dune planting commencing next week also. Another separate donation from the Rotary Club of Gisborne will also see 4 new bench seats installed at the Beacon Street car park. “We're grateful to both Rotary clubs for their immense support,” says Ms Cranston. “The works at Grey Street will be the final piece to the puzzle with construction of 2 rain gardens, concrete paths and a lookout platform with steps down to the beach.” Toihoukura students have carved some seats which will be installed at Grey Street and Roberts Road along with picnic tables, showers, drinking fountains and bike racks all using recycled timber. All the furniture has been custom designed so it will be unique to Gisborne. Construction is expected to be completed in July. For more information about the project Read more >>
Grants open for erosion control
3 Jun 2015
Gisborne district landowners have the opportunity to apply for funding from the Erosion Control Funding Programme (ECFP) administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) with the next funding round now open until 30 June 2015. Read more >>
Concern over log debris
3 Jun 2015
Wood debris has been deposited on the beach at the mouth of the Maraetaha River and on the banks of the river and its tributaries after an intense rainfall in the Wharerata’s over the weekend. Council is very disappointed that this extent of forestry debris is again fouling beaches and water ways. “The rain event was severe with reports of 105 mm over 24 hours and over 60 mm at the seaward end of the catchment,” says shared services science manager Lois Easton. “We met with landowners and interested people prior to a site inspection at the forest. We found that slip erosion has occurred in places with recently established trees. “Woody material and sediment have migrated into watercourses and downstream. Council have held numerous meetings over the past few years with landowner representatives and the forestry sector in an effort to introduce and maintain practises that avoid this downstream event. “The debris is mixed in size and can’t be attributed to any one particular source. We would prosecute if it was appropriate.” There are no signs of land collapse or erosion as a result of roading or extraction activities. Council and the forest industry maintain an environmental group who meet on a regular basis and are identifying ways of dealing with woody debris in the long term. “Short term effects are more difficult to deal with,” says Ms Easton. A meeting will be held with the affected local community, council staff and forestry representatives in the next six weeks to look at the findings from the inspection on Tuesday and discuss solutions. A report will be presented to the Future Tairawhiti meeting on 16 July on options to reduce the amount of slash entering waterways. Read more >>
Environmental monitoring changes in Council
29 May 2015
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 work internally. 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 future. “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 Easton. 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 >>

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