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Eye on public transport, roading plans

Opinion Piece

The smooth running and safety of our harbour operation is essential. Some time ago it was recognised that enabling the full scope of that responsibility required an investment into a purpose-built harbourmaster vessel. A suitable boat was commissioned and is now completed. Today the boat was blessed and welcomed and will be available to the harbourmaster for many essential duties.

On Wednesday there will be a presentation on “Determining Indigenous Forest Restoration Approaches”. There is a lot of activity in this space and we are seeing some great results. The Waingake project and Titirangi maunga are both awesome efforts in indigenous restoration. There have been learnings along the way which can feed into some really good future native forestry restorations. To do justice to our native forest asset we must always look to best practice.

On Thursday afternoon the Regional Transport committee meets. The first agenda item is to look at the Regional Public Transport Plan. The committee will be looking for feedback on the challenges and opportunities, with a view to improving our public transport system. We will also learn of some emerging technologies. However much we would like to wave a wand and do everything, we have limitations and we will be looking at options and determining best and most suitable prioritisation alignments.

Every six years the Regional Land Transport Plan is developed and this plan is stretched out for a 10-year prioritisation plan. The plan is reviewed every three years. While this is onerous, it is important to firstly continue a robust monitoring programme but also to input changes and developments which could require re-prioritising. With our substantial roading network it is a large body of work, with eye-watering budget requirements.

We will also be receiving the Speed Management Plan update. There is wide community interest in this. We regularly get presentations and submissions from those concerned with safety around specific locations, particularly schools and townships. The report has several localised maps showing options and speed recommendations. The report is largely to do with traffic movement around rural townships and the Gisborne CBD. A direction has been set by the Road to Zero initiative, which is a concerted effort to get our road fatalities down to zero. While it is ambitious I think we can all agree that any death that is preventable, should be.

The final report is the quarterly activity report from Waka Kotahi. They are working on their/our 30-year plan. This piece of work is hoping to describe what our land transport needs look like in 2050.

An asset as huge as a roading network does need ongoing intensive planning, scrutinisation and assessment. Because of the complexity, this needs many different lenses. The PGF funding has catalysed a call to action on our roading network. I believe our region is starting to see the benefits, and there are more to come.

There will also be updates on projects and the status of emergency works.

On Thursday morning the Wastewater Management committee meet and will be discussing the mortuary waste project, the Turanganui a Kiwa water quality enhancement project, alternative use and disposal, and the wastewater treatment plant stage 2 delivery update.

Last week's serving of pomp and pageantry with the pohiri and charter parade associated with the visit of HMNZS Manawanui was a unique experience for the region and really something quite special. To have home port status with such a formidable vessel is an honour. While the charter document is very “old school” in its language, the now established relationship is something to savour.

Andy Cranston

  1. Craig Miller says:

    Andy, I find your opening line somewhat hypocritical given that for sometime now some of us have raised safety concerns with Gisborne District Council, councillors and the harbourmaster, so please enlighten me as to how this purpose-built vessel is going to resolve our concerns. While I am supportive of the harbourmaster needing a vessel here, I’m not so sure that the amount spent can really be justified – but I guess only time will tell.

    1. G R Webb says:

      I wonder what the total cost of the vessel is [does that include a vehicle to tow it?], where is it housed and who was the vendor?

      Footnote from Ed: Councillors agreed to a $200,000 purchase figure for the boat and trailer in February, subject to approving how much it would cost to run the vessel. Running costs of $8000-$9000 a year were subsequently approved in a split decision in May.

      1. G R Webb says:

        I asked 4 questions and got one answered. Not a bad hit rate??

        1. Winston Moreton says:

          And why does the ratepayer foot the bill? Our $377 million community trust owns and controls the log port. Are councillors asleep at the helm?

        2. P Millar says:

          I asked at least a dozen questions in this forum about all the Inner Harbour irregularities. NONE were answered. Too sensitive perhaps??
          Consider yourself lucky with a 25 percent strike rate.