Council unveils cyclone recovery measures

Tuesday 4 April 2023, 12:08PM

By Northland Regional Council



The Northland Regional Council has revealed a suite of measures in response to Cyclone Gabrielle including a ‘pragmatic’ approach to non-compliance, plans to remove some trees from rivers and freeing up funding to help repair storm-damaged fences.

Council Chair Tui Shortland says a variety of measures had been agreed to by councillors recently.

One included plans to help tackle a significant issue with trees in rivers.

The scale of the problem had become apparent during a recent site visit to Kaihu, Awakino and Paparoa River Catchments.

"The scale of the issue in some of these areas is considered to be beyond the ability of landowners to complete the clean-up works through their own resources."

The council has allocated $500,000 to help remove these trees and will prioritise areas where there is highest risk of river blockage and subsequent impacts. "We aim to commence these works as soon as possible to enable as much clearing of trees as possible before the winter wet weather hits us."

Big forestry gear and experienced crews would be required to do the heavy lifting involved with trees removed and stacked out of flood reach.

Chair Shortland says the council is in discussions with central government agencies to discuss the possibility of additional central government funding as we’re aware that the funding will not be sufficient to remove all trees from all rivers.

Also on the funding front, the council was looking to make up to $300,000 of land management funding available to support landowners, marae and hapu to rebuild riparian fencing damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle.

"There would also be funding engagement with whanau, marae and hapu through kaitiaki to better understand their recovery needs in the taiao."

Meanwhile, the council is also planning to contribute $5000 to the Te Araroa Trail trust to assist with the clean-up of tree fall and track damage.

Further information on how these funds can be accessed will be made available on the council’s website over the next couple of weeks.

Lastly, councillors had backed a ‘pragmatic’ approach by staff to any non-compliance caused or contributed to by the cyclone.