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Council supports independent inquiry

Calls for an independent inquiry into land use in Tairāwhiti are strongly supported by Council.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz says following the devastating impacts of ex-Tropical Cyclone Hale it is time to examine more carefully how we use our land going into the future.

“With the anticipated impacts of climate change going forwards and the damage we’ve already witnessed to our hillsides, infrastructure, our rivers, beaches and people’s private land, we have to find better ways to stabilise and protect the land.”

A petition is being presented to Council next week which calls for such an inquiry. It has over 5000 signatures and is likely to receive more by the time it is tabled at next Thursday’s Council meeting.

Mayor Stoltz says it is heartening to see that the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust and Eastland Wood Council also support such an inquiry.

“It is essential that the inquiry, and the person conducting the inquiry, works with Council and all key stakeholders.”

With the State of Emergency lifted today, Council and civil defence will now be focussed on the recovery phase of the event. This will involve further assessments of the roading network, impacts on houses and infrastructure as well as ensuring whānau impacted by the event have the support they need.