Consultation

East Coast Digital Development Hui

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Hikurangi Takiwa Trust is hosting a hui 10.30am-12pm on Monday 31st August at Kariaka Pa for East Coast residents and businesses to discuss digital capability development opportunities for the whole Coast and our specific communities.

Gisborne District Council is preparing a Digital Enablement Plan (“DEP”) to submit to central government by mid-September. Community input on the DEP will start on Tuesday 25th August, Hikurangi Takiwa Trust is keen to ensure Coast communities knowledge and priorities help shape the DEP.

The Gisborne Regional Digital Strategy will build on the good work done as part of Gisborne’s Gigatown project which had significant community support. The Strategy will cover Leadership, Community, Business, Environment and will seek to address three key issues: Affordability, Accessibility and Digital Literacy.

Central government continues to send a clear message that broadband access is a priority for New Zealand. At end of March, government announced its commitment to building world leading internet speeds to more of our population. There is to be an increase in funding for three programmes:

  • Ultra Fast Broadband 2 (“UFB2”) extension: aims to roll out fibre to 80% of NZers in urban areas – funding increase of $210m;
  • Rural Broadband 2 (“RBI2”) extension: aims to provide upgraded broadband services in rural areas – funding increase of $100m;
  • Mobile ‘black spots’ (MBSF)’: aims to increase mobile services to tourist areas and priority areas on State Highways – funding of $50m.

Government is looking to invest in areas where deployment will be relatively cost-effective, where uptake can be demonstrated to be high and where broadband services are unavailable (defined as less than 5Mbps). Council, with the support of key stakeholders, has completed the first stage of a submission for improving our digital infrastructure – a Registration of Interest – Support. Stage two of the process is to complete a Digital Enablement Plan (“DEP”). The DEP will outline the benefits of the programme funding for Tairāwhiti and how we will activate uptake.

The DEP is due 12pm, 16 September. The Regional Digital Strategy will be our DEP.

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Regardless of the success or otherwise of the bid for government funding, the Digital Strategy will guide our digital future by setting some key priorities for action. It will refine the Gigatown Plan for Success.

It may be useful to think about the three capability development layers used in the Plan: Infrastructure, Services & People – what should these look like for the Coast?

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HTT submission on NES for Plantation Forestry

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Makarika Stream, January 2015

After consulting with the hapu and agreeing by resolution at a meeting of the Trustees on 2 August, Hikurangi Takiwa Trust made a submission on the proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry – a copy of our submission is available to download here.


A plain English version of the submission might summarise it as follows: 

Essentially at present the Council requires forest harvesters to have a range of systems in place to prevent debris from entering waterways (such as requiring a buffer zone around waterways so tree cutting is set back from the waterway and on slopes they have catchers to stop the stuff sliding down the hill and into streams) – and if the stuff does get into waterways then there needs to be mechanisms to catch the debris and remove it as soon as possible as the debris causes havoc to native species that live in the streams and as we know much of it can also end up on beaches.

There are also rules relating to how machinery is used and how soon areas must be replanted and whether some areas should not be replanted in pines for harvest but retired because future harvesting is likely to result in massive erosion for a couple of years after harvest, etc.

All of these rules are much stricter in Tairāwhiti than the rest of the country because of our unique geology and the way plantation forests were established after Cyclone Bola and the existing erosion problems we al know about.

Under the NES these rules would no longer apply to most of the land in the region and we’d get a much watered down version that might suit the central plateau but not here.

As we know the existing rules are still not adequately addressing the problems (the Council, industry, hapu reps and environmentalists) have been working on improving practices for a few years, and the cost to clean up the mess still created is increasing and being worn by ratepayers instead of the companies that make money from the process.

The other major concern is at present if a region wants to be GMO free then it can be (many are), the right of regions to do this is removed and given to the EPA (which has recently had a GE proponent appointed as its chair and has no Environmental Protection mandate in its purpose or responsibilities).

This is a summary of some of the main concerns, but there are a lot of technical and specific issues that are meaningful but dense. The full submission lays out the main concerns systematically with requested changes if the NES proceeds.