Time runs out at midnight this Sunday 28 June to influence the Regional Council’s plan for a climate-smart recovery, which is part of this year’s 2020-21 Annual Plan.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is playing its part to address the economic challenges facing the region from both COVID-19 and the drought, and to cushion the effects of these events on the regional community.

Around 80 public submissions have already been received and the Council’s Facebook Live sessions in mid-June reached over 1,000 people.

The two proposals being consulted on relating to the rates approach for the year ahead and whether or not to establish a $1 million recovery fund. Both proposals arose from anticipating the effects of COVID-19 and Hawke’s Bay’s worst-ever drought.

“The proposals that we’re considering for the Annual Plan give the community the opportunity to tell us how to approach rates this year and whether a dedicated recovery fund is a good way for the Regional Council to help our community recover from the effects of the lockdown and drought,” says Regional Council Chief Executive James Palmer.

“It’s hard to predict the extent of the fallout from COVID-19 and the drought, but we are seeing personal and financial effects on the Hawke’s Bay community. We also anticipate an impact on our own revenue from investments,” adds Mr Palmer.

The public can still comment online, by email, text, phone message or in writing. All submissions will be considered and deliberated on by Councillors at a public hearing on 15 July, before the Annual Plan is adopted on 27 July.

The 2020-21 Annual Plan consultation document, submission info and other ways to comment are at hbrc.govt.nz.

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