A word from Koromatua Meng Foon
This particular year has produced a perfect storm in terms of roading – the demands on our roads have been exponential.
We’ve had high log prices in the winter, when normally there's a drop off of log demand. Pair that with the heaviest rain we have had in the last 30 years – since Cyclone Bola actually – and it’s put a lot of stress on our roads.
And that is what has led to a $5.1m deficit for Council.
We've definitely had to put money into the roads to help our foresters, horticulturists and agriculturists get their product to market. I have no problem investing money where it's needed.
It's too early to be saying what the percent of rate rise is likely to be.
We know we have to manage the fiscal envelope of Council and balance that with our community’s wants and needs. I'm focussed on core infrastructure – roads, flood control, the Makauri aquifer and water quality.
We're going to be working smarter, with collaboration and cooperation – especially with the horticulture industry for water needs and forestry industry for roading.
They have put their hands up and said they're willing to assist. It's great news they want to support Council with these key things.
The announcements from the new government could be great for this region. We have already met with Labour list MP Kiri Allan and indicated our support of these new packages and policies. The government is focusing on regional development and environmental policies, and we're keen to leverage some of that money for Tairawhiti.
But there's still a lot of work to be done between councillors, staff and the community – your contribution to the needs of our district is important and we need to know what they are in your eyes.
We're also talking closely with Eastland Community Trust to ensure we cooperate together – especially for our community facilities, projects and the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme, which is a project that is beneficial to both parties as a lot of the network assets are also protected by that flood control.
This is a time when we all need to work together.
Next article: Lots going on in our community