United view on wa­ter

CHB Mail - - News - BY ALEX WALKER CHB Mayor

Con­cerns about wa­ter se­cu­rity in Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay are ramp­ing up.

Sur­face wa­ter con­sents, rais­ing of the min­i­mum river flows, wa­ter stor­age IP, #the­big­wa­ter­story, Tranche 2 — all of these are parts of a com­plex pic­ture of wa­ter se­cu­rity cre­at­ing un­cer­tainty in our com­mu­nity.

Ava­ri­ety of peo­ple are be­ing af­fected. This is ex­pressed in their abil­ity to rely on wa­ter. On­gaonga and Tikokino and sim­i­lar ru­ral ar­eas rely on pri­vate res­i­den­tial bores for their health and sur­vival. Clubs and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions like fire bri­gades and golf clubs rely on wa­ter to pro­vide so­cial en­ter­prise and safety. Tan­gata whenua’s cul­ture and val­ues are in­tri­cately linked­with wa­ter and our rivers. Farms and com­mer­cial busi­nesses rely on wa­ter to run their op­er­a­tions, to em­ploy peo­ple and con­trib­ute to the eco­nomic fab­ric of the dis­trict.

This is all linked to us work­ing within the eco­log­i­cal bound­aries of the aquifer and river sys­tem that we rely on.

For me there are two cru­cial things. Firstly, we do not look at any of these things in iso­la­tion. Our strength comes from tak­ing a united, fu­ture-fo­cused view.

Se­condly, we­must move for­ward­with facts and sci­ence in­form­ing our views and en­hanc­ing the de­ci­sions that may need to be made.

We need to take a stand to make sure thatwe are not rushed into mak­ing short­term de­ci­sions that ben­e­fit only a few, or con­strain the abil­ity for fu­ture think­ing and so­lu­tions. Your coun­cil­lors and I are com­mit­ted to work along­side our whole com­mu­nity in de­vel­op­ing this stand. Wewill be reach­ing out to you to join us in this and hope that you will do so with an open-mind and ideas of how to col­lab­o­rate as a com­mu­nity.

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