Many thanks to the large number of you that turned out yesterday to hear from Jon Roygard of Horizons, mayor Helen Worboys of MDC, MPI, MRSS & RFST & have the presence of FMG, DoC, Beef & Lamb & Dairy NZ as well as Ian McKelvie & Suze Redmayne
Below is a summary of the meeting for those that could not attend.
There are still many questions, issues & concerns but as a community, we can work together to help each other through this.
Points to note:
1) Please email me with a list of your damages & concerns whether they be river, roading, access, communication or emergency response. PCCG will compile this information & use it to get more support & hopefully some action.
2) Mayor Helen will advise when the roading team are able to meet to discuss the long list of issues & come up with some solutions. I will advise when this is happening meantime, keep hounding MDC or complete their on-line complaints form
3) Jon Roygard will send the River Scheme map & Shane Carroll will advise when the next meeting is – I will let you know when I hear.
4) Help is available if you need it – please just ask. I am away until March 14th so please email or phone Matt Carroll email@example.com
5) If you want to be involved in getting a community Civil Defense plan in place, even just for your area, please get in touch
6) Big thanks to Alastair Cole of MPI & Matt Carroll for helping me to make this happen, MRCC, Beef & Lamb & Farmlands for the refreshments & Jon & Helen for fronting for their councils
Pohangina Valley Relief & Recovery meeting
Pohangina Hall, Friday March 3rd, 2023
Welcome & introduction from Matt Carroll, chair of Pohangina Catchment Care Group
Jon Roygard – Horizons Regional Council firstname.lastname@example.org
· Horizons are here to support the community
· A number of weather events in last 12 month have caused damage to many of the regions water systems
· Need to get areas assessed – more staff deployed to the field & in office to answer phone calls & emails. Helicopter survey booked
· Shane Carroll chairs the Pohangina Oroua River Scheme – collects a portion of Horizons rates from all ratepayers in area; rate depends on proximity to river. Currently about $500,000 in reserves, $250,000 already spent following January storm event. AGM to be held shortly, anyone interested able to attend.
· Jon to provide scheme maps to Lynda
· $500 k will not be enough! Are trying to get national assistance.
o 5 current nationally supported projects in the region
§ Whanganui Port
§ Lower Manawatu floodplain
§ Foxton flood protection
§ PN city – Mangaone Stream
§ Rangitikei River downstream of Bulls
· 1 in 80 year event but is the 2nd such event in 20 years!
· Compared to 2004 – damage on a par except for bridge losses, river levels higher but volume of water was less. Does this mean the river floor is higher? More land lost then 2004.
· River protection works if done properly & everyone does it. Work has been based south of Totara Reserve – may need to look at extending the scheme further north.
· Land owned by lifestyle blocks on the river also entitled to protection
Helen Worboys – mayor Manawatu District Council Helen.Worboys@mdc.govt.nz
· Just returned from Wellington meeting with Kieran McNaulty – Minister for Emergency Management. Even though Manawatu did not declare a state of emergency, still entitled to government assistance
· Realised MDC response needs improving. Recovery needs to be community led
· Stressed importance of looking after ourselves & each other during recovery
· Comments on lack of maintenance on roads, bridges & river nearing roads. MDC have been waiting on back payments that have now been received so more money for maintenance now available
· Complaints system has been upgraded, take all complaints seriously.
· Bridges update – Konewa – a ford has been installed so this road is now passable with care to locals only. A temporary bridge will begin contruction next week & aims to be completed in a month
o Churchill Drive bridge much bigger issue – might be several years before a solution is found
o Makiekie Bridge over Coal Creek – now has 6 tonne weight & 10 km/h restriction. Concrete blockades in place to stop heavy vehicles. Need engineering work to stabilise.
· Concern over lack of contractors clearing slips & trees when roads become impassable, can locals clear these – advised to “Do it now & ask forgiveness later”
· Work with Horizons & Waka Kotahi to protect infrastructure
· Disappointment that roading team did not attend – Helen to organise a Public roading meeting to address issues & concerns & make a plan. Time & date to be advised.
· Concerns over emergency response when Raumai Bridge was closed. PCCG aim to get a valley wide Civil Defence emergency plan established, community phone tree held by Pohangina Community Committee?
· Need clearer signage as people are driving around road closed signs & non-local traffic still using the East road
Lee Ransom – Senior Regional Advisor – MPI email@example.com
· $25 million government Farmers & Growers grant issued – $17 million already paid out. Turn around very quick. Maximum of $10,000 per claim
· Simple form to complete either online or hard copy – post to PO Box 1654 Palmerston North
· Must earn at least 51% of income from property. If unsure enquire of apply anyway.
· Important to keep evidence – photos of damage, receipts of work paid for, note hours both own, staff or voluntary, estimate of further/ongoing damage
· May be further funding released so be ready
Aevryl Jestin – Manawatu Rural Support Services 021 082 34809 firstname.lastname@example.org
· Free & confidential service
· Information, advice & advocacy
· Support during sickness, bereavement, unemployment, relationship breakdown or financial difficulties
· Assistance with assessing info, resources, & services
· Support to resolve loneliness, isolation or when struggling
· Morning coffee meetings held regularly at St Bartholomew Church – Konewa & County Fayre in the village
Murray Holdaway – Rural Family Support Trust, Federated Farmers & Rural Co-ordination Group
· Manawatu-Rangitikei rural Family Support Trust established to support farming families
· Personal mental well-being, family relationships, farming difficulties, employment relationships, animal welfare concerns, financial difficulties, adverse climatic events & biosecurity incursions
· Similar but different to MRSS – work closely with them
· Tony Gray local area rep – email@example.com or 0279603702
· Rural Co-ordination Group formed after 2004 event to respond quickly to events like this. MPI, Horizons, MDC, Federated Farmers, Beef & Lamb, Dairy NZ, Civil Defence. Instigated this meeting
Refreshments were provided by Manawatu River Catchments Collective, Beef & Lamb & Farmlands
Also some important info in today from Shelley Dew-Hopkins who co-ordinated the 2004 flood relief
A few key things to tell your community;
Regardless of whether they receive 50% of their income from their farm/lifestyle block etc they do need to record the following;
Set up a flood recovery file
Take photos of all damage and record it
Estimate kms of fencing and waterline damage
How many troughs, gates, pumps, culverts are either blocked, damaged or missing
How many estimated hectares are damaged by silt or slips, photograph what they can
Keep hours of staff who are off normal duties and working on flood recovery. Including owners time and effort
Keep receipts of heavy machinery used for recovery
Photograph track damage and amount of damage
I think there will be more recovery monetary assistance for farmers. Lifestyle and small owners may be eligible through mayoral relief funds, rates rebates etc Hopefully they will put some funds into the DC's
Very important they are ready for when more information comes to light.
Very important they document their stories of what happened, the impact on themselves, their families and communities. In other words tell the story.
All creates a picture for any future assistance that may be forthcoming. Put in impacts of bridge damage etc, schooling disruption and so on.
And from Jason Griffin of Beef & Lamb
Information about the increased risk of Lepto following a flood. Is the last thing a farmer would want to get. Takes a long time to recover.
Here’s a link to a recent article.
Stay safe & keeping looking out for each other