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Funding boosts for riverbank restoration and airport runway extension

funding announcement web

Resilience and remediation are the foundations of three local projects - each worth over a million dollars.

Government today, has confirmed funding to the Wairoa District Council of $1.5m for the Wairoa riverbank restoration following Cyclone Gabrielle and $1.2m for the extension of the Wairoa Airport runway and accommodation for rebuild workforce: $1 million to Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa to develop accommodation for tradespeople working on the residential rebuild of Wairoa.

The riverbank restoration funding will see the central town area from East of the lighthouse restored to its pre-Cyclone Gabrielle beauty.

The area is a drawcard for locals and tourists, and enhancing the riverbank area will be a visible sign of Wairoa’s recovery.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the riverbank restoration project will complement the flood mitigation work that is also being planned for Wairoa.

“Wairoa has a natural beauty with its main street facing the river, creating a community gathering point. It is really sad to see the damage that has been left behind in the wake of the cyclone, and through this funding, we are grateful to be able to rebuild and even build back better.”

The project will also provide local training and employment opportunities and complement the main street redevelopment project, which should see phase one, the community courtyard, completed by the end of the year.

The airport runway extension will improve Wairoa’s resilience and operational capacity. The project will extend the operational distance of the Wairoa Airport runway, improving access and making it easier to fly in support equipment and supplies in times of emergency and allow for bigger planes to land in Wairoa and in inclement weather conditions.

Mr Little said during Cyclone Gabrielle, the length of the airport runway limited the types of aircraft, meaning helicopters were predominantly used to transport supplies, and they were restricted by a relatively small payload.

“An extended runway will accommodate bigger planes with larger capacity and an ability to fly in inclement weather. Additional advantages are that the Skyline Aviation's Cessna Mustang jet, used in Hawke's Bay for the Air Ambulance Service, will be able to be utilised, which will save lives through quicker and smoother flights.”

Mr Little said Wairoa is very appreciative to have had two important projects included in this funding announcement. He particularly acknowledged Kanoa Principal Regional Advisor Hawke’s Bay Cameron Osmond. “Cameron knows our district and our needs, and through his support, it is great to be able to build back better.”

For more information

Photo - pictured at the announcement of $3.7m in regional recovery funding for the Wairoa district are from left, Wairoa Recovery Manager Benita Tahuri, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Wairoa Mayor Craig Little, Deputy Mayor Denise Eaglesome-Karekare and Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa chair Leon Symes.

21 September 2023

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