Hawke's Bay ratepayers and community groups have kept up with a trend towards having their say on the draft long-term plans currently being considered by the region's major councils.
Counting consultation document tear-offs and website replies, the Napier City Council, Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council each received over 700 submissions.
But how well they were being heard was being questioned as the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's submissions hearing on Monday started with four apologies for absence during the day, with at least four gone by the time chairman Rex Graham was able to call it a day on time just before 5pm.
At the start eight hours earlier questions were asked about whether there would be a quorum if required, but councillors were reminded it was a hearing of what the public has to say.
Each councillor has available hundreds of pages of submissions, and still has meetings to consider the submissions and confirm the plan by July 1.
Graham said later that at least 70 per cent of submissions are "really interesting" and while it's "not a boring day" it is a tough day.
"It is worth it," he said.
He said he was particularly impressed with three submissions from environmental organisations highlighting some "really good points" in relation to the Ahuriri Regional Park proposal and their concerns for preservation, but there were also some obvious issues for Hawke's Bay Airport, rated the worst in New Zealand for the risk of aircraft bird-strike.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The HBRC received 782 submissions, and was the first of the three to get the hearing process under way, with 39 submitters scheduled for appearances during the day.
Its submitters included the Hawke's Bay Airport Authority, Napier Port, some other councils, Federated Farmers, iwi groups, other conservation groups and individuals.
The Napier City Council received 706 submissions by its deadline last Wednesday, and has 48 submitters seeking to be heard when a council meeting for the purpose is held on June 8-9.
In 2015 there were about 680 – said at the time to be a record - and in 2018, driven by water issues including a proposal for a new swimming complex off Prebensen and Tamatea drives there were more than 800.
The Hastings District Council received over 700 by its deadline on May 7, and has 52 lined-up to speak with three days set for hearing on June 8-10.
Councils consider their visionary 10-year plans every three years, but also put in place annual plans every 12 months including the setting of annual rates.
The 10-year-plans currently under consideration are for the 2021-2031 period.