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Annual Plan Hearings Finish

Annual Plan Hearings Finish

Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillors yesterday completed the hearings and deliberations on 103 submissions to the draft Annual Plan for 2014/15.

“Councillors want to thank those people and groups who took time to consider our proposals and submit on areas where they saw the need for a change or to fill a perceived gap. We know that submissions take time and effort but they are a vital part of the democratic process,” says HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson.

Verbal submissions from 35 people and organisations along with deliberations on the submissions to the draft plan were held on 4 and 5 June, and Councillors will approve the final plan with amendments at their 25 June meeting.
Key decision items:

Oil & Gas

A number of submissions were made about concerns about oil and gas exploration in the region. Since submissions were lodged and staff recommendations on these were written, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s final report into regulation in the oil and gas industry was made public (Tuesday 3 June).

Councillors have recognised the widespread public concern about this issue and the fact they have not had time to fully analyse the PCE report yet.
They voted to lead the discussion on Oil & Gas regulation in Hawke’s Bay. They also agreed to make a funding allocation (within existing budgets) of $200,000 to enable public consultation and the potential development of plan changes to be started in the next financial year. Councillors noted priorities in Council’s Plan Change schedule may have to change to accommodate the planning changes this may bring.

Investment in Napier-Gisborne Rail line
Council received a large number of submissions on its potential investment in the Napier-Gisborne Rail line, with a number of people presenting verbal submissions, for and against the proposal to reinstate the line, or convert it into a cycle trail.

Councillors voted to participate in a feasibility study on the best use of the rail corridor going forward.

It also agreed to keep its options open to potential investment in the shortline loop, should a strong business case be presented showing a suitable return on Council’s investment.


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