Tuesday, 27 February 2024 12:55

Long-term plan needed

Written by  Peter Burke
Richard Burke (pictured) says there doesn't seem to be a long-term approach to infrastructure. Richard Burke (pictured) says there doesn't seem to be a long-term approach to infrastructure.

Well before Cyclone Gabrielle struck, Richard Burke was advocating for a long-term sustainable infrastructure plan for the Tairawhiti region.

The cyclone brought to the fore a problem that has existed for decades, with the east coast constantly struggling to get a strong roading network in this vital farming and horticulture region.

Despite all the talk, about the need to improve the road, Burke feels the mentality of those who could change things is still in 'repair mode'. Having said that, he says one cannot fault the investment that has gone into repairing road infrastructure.

"But there doesn't appear to be emerging signs of a long-term approach to once and for all resolving some of the bigger issues around sustainable infrastructure that serves the needs of Tairawhiti," he says.

Burke says, before Covid struck, there was a group of local leaders aligned in their thinking on this, but this doesn't appear to exist today. For things to happen, says Burke, key local people need to get together and develop a strategy and plan that can be sold to central and local government.

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