Councillor believes in continuity

By Victoria White

5 comments
Peter Beaven.
Peter Beaven.

The decision to stand again as a Hawke's Bay regional councillor for the Ngaruroro ward was not an easy one for incumbent Peter Beaven.

Because he would be turning 70 in three years, Mr Beaven said, he questioned whether he would still have the energy to be a councillor, also citing the pay, and workload.

"You're responsible for 155,000 people here, not just the people in your town or your city," he said, "I've actually been pondering this for quite some time and talking with friends and family about whether I should stand."

But he will stand, because of the job's rewarding nature, and what he felt to be "unfinished business". This included the TANK process, the development of a coastal erosion strategy, in which he chaired the committee, and the Ruataniwha Dam.

"There's a lot of balls being juggled, and I just think having some continuity is really in the council's interest," he said.

When he was elected in 2013, a serious summer drought meant growers in the Twyford area were denied access to water, resulting in loss of crops and trees.

Emergency water was now available for those who were affected through the negotiation of a global consent covering 300ha of trees and crops.

"Although this is a good step forward, the council needs to complete a plan change that gives confidence to growers across the Heretaunga Plains to continue to invest. Access to water is critical," he said.

"At the same time we need to ensure that river and aquifer health are maintained or enhanced."

Many of the challenges faced by Hawke's Bay involved water, including the Ruataniwha Dam issue and implementation of Plan Change 6 in the Tukituki catchment, sea-level rise and erosion of the coastline, sedimentation into streams and rivers in much of Hawke's Bay's hill country, erosion issues as a result of pine forest harvesting and restoration of more wetlands, which were critical to ecosystem health.

"All of these issues will require council's attention over the next three years and in some cases will need a re-allocation of resources," Mr Beaven said. "If re-elected, I will work closely with other like-minded councillors to find sustainable solutions to our many environmental challenges."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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