What are the options,
why Matakaoa ?
Consultants for environmental and civil engineering purposes have confirmed that the Matakaoa site is the optimal position for a deep water access wharf, and this view is further backed by a 1970’s Ministry of Works report confirming the same. The Crown was well aware in the 1970’s that all this timber would need a facility at Hicks Bay. In our view it is a missing link between the planting of the 1970’s and the distribution of the forestry benefits to the local people in the 2000’s. In fact the Gisborne District Council back then recognized this fact and as such has already overlaid on its planning maps this area as a ” future major development area”.
Local Community concerns and objectives
Previous reports and projects have identified the following main objectives of Māori business and economic development in the study area are (Bevin, 2012b; Te Ahu Ohanga, 2009):
What this research found is noted below how this project will respond to some of these areas the community wants addressed is noted.
What will the Hicks Bay wharf project assist:
1. land use and sea/water resource
2. opportunities to lease land for agricultural activities
3. involvement in the primary industries sector
1, 2, 3, Having a local wharf will increase financial returns of forestry. This mean that land and sea resource are being better utilised (new wharf), opportunities to lease land to forest owners (who can and will pay more), and business opportunities in the forestry sector
4. employment opportunities in the infrastructural/service industries
The project will mean increased job opportunities at the wharf and associated businesses as well as in the forest harvesting & planting sector
5. labour up skilling and increased tertiary education participation
The project has undertaken contractually with the landowner to provide sporting and academic scholarships to local youth who have promise
6. the settlement of Māori land and fisheries claims
7. the desire to improve the living standards of Māori.
The increase economic activity will be structured in a way to ensure that people on the last mile who wish to avail themselves will be preferred people for any job or business creation. The Modulock housing associated sister company will undertake to provide social housing in the immediate area. Issues and barriers to Māori investment and economic development in the study area have been identified and include (Te Ahu Ohanga, 2009):
8. fragmentation and dispersal of Māori land throughout the region, cultural requirements in relation to the use of Māori land and difficulties in raising sufficient finance for development of Māori land
They project will assist and structure business opportunities by way of long-term contracts for local residents who wish to have their own business based on needs of the project
9. on-going tension between an individual versus collective approach to Māori economic and business development
The project team are independent and aim to work between all the groups and factions to deliver the best outcome
10. the historical lack of Māori participation in higher-value occupations and businesses
The opportunity to participate is now being presented. It is up to the locals whether they wish to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (the project) or victory form the jaws of defeat (now)
11. the adverse impacts for Māori of on-going economic restructuring
This is a local economic activity which will help reverse the decade’s long move of wealth from small rural areas to cities
12. Governance, leadership and accountability within the Māori community and commercial organisations.
The opportunities identified include more effective utilisation of the Māori asset base (land and sea) and the enhancement of the Māori entrepreneurial culture. There will be other economic opportunities for Māori in addition to the use of the region’s natural resources, such as in processing and a range of service industries (including education, health, welfare services, events and tourism) (Te Ahu Ohanga, 2009). Reports have also identified a need for capacity building within the Māori business sector and labour-market so that the economic returns flowing from settlement assets are maximised.
Other questions raised at discussions with local people.
Besides a log export facility can the facility to be used for other purposes like super yacht tourism, produce exports etc?
Our position is to keep things simple. To that end we have only allowed revenue streams to come from log processing. If we make sure it is economically viable from what we know there is a requirement for (logs), than that is best for all people including the local community, as we know it is sustainable on actual facts.
What we can do is make allowance during final design, that we future proof the facility by allowing ancillary uses. These type of things are dependent on a willingness for local people to provide either goods or services. If there is a financially feasible opportunity presented it is also in the port facilities benefit to have more usage. Simply what this means is that if a local person or group takes it on themselves to market the area to say a cruise ship line with authentic NZ experiences available on land, than there is no reason why the port couldn’t accommodate a cruise mooring between log ships.
However this business activity needs to be driven by local people. The same goes for produce, if local people can produce enough for a container(s) and have arranged a buyer, the port may be able to process a container to a container ship. In effect we provide the “internet” and it’s up to people to” log on or build a website to sell things”. We can show them “how to log on or where to go to get a website built, how much they can sell” but ultimately it’s up to them to want to do it. We can provide the tools.
The only current business plan is log exports and the building of some type of service station for fuel for trucks. If your people see a need for accommodation or other services we can assist by ensuring our people on the ground provide all the information they need on who , where, what , how etc. Like your service station idea we can say what truck fuel usage is like, if they would use the facility and if it stacks up etc.
Can The Project provide other benefits like health care for local people?
On Friday the 15th of July 2016 we attended a Government meeting on the port project with the MBIE and MSD executive for regional development and Social Housing initiatives. They were glad to hear of our consulting with local people. At that meeting we reached the following conclusions; Terrafermah and Live International will continue the commercial development of a wharf and facilities within the constraints of the RMA, with appropriate assistance from local and central Government entities. Community and social outcomes will still be managed by the MSD. Any business and industrial opportunities will still be overseen by MBIE. It was clear that the Crown considered many of the social issues we advised had been raised, were outside the brief of our commercial business. However we are aware of what you are saying that the issues are and wish them pushed by us as well. Our belief is that we should assist where we can.
Simply our feeling is that we estimate that around $6m to $12m per annum can be saved by us building that facility. A portion of that will go each to MLO’s, forest owners, contractors, port owners and local people. Over the 27 year lifespan of a forest around $300m will be put back into that area. How will this help the people on the last mile is covered in “show me the money “section.
What is the Environmental Impact likely to be?
We understand local peoples overriding concern that the land and sea has looked after your people for several hundred years and you wish to ensure as guardians that nothing you allow would jeopardize that. Environmental protection compliance will be paramount. As this facility will be new, that means state of the art for mitigation of any possible contamination, or industrial by-product containment and management. We should note many of the problems of the Gisborne port are caused by it being in a river mouth and floods washing contaminants directly into the sea. We believe you would not build a port there today in a river mouth.
All elements of the resource consent will be required to cover local concerns that will be noted in the RMA Iwi report.
It is up to terrafermahs consultants to mitigate any affects local people or they note to a standard that ensures environmental preservation whilst allowing local residents and people to have an improved living standards and to enhance quality of life their life through their own efforts with support from The Project.
The Resource Consent application will be required to address any areas where environmental catastrophes could occur and how we will mitigate them and remediate them. Normally as part of that effected people can make submissions
What will be the Cultural Impact?
Again once we have a definitive report on Wahi Tapu a management plan can be developed jointly to administer and protect historically important locations (The wharf foot print is just 6ha surrounded by private property).
What will be the Social Impact ?
Once we identify specifically via our consultants and Iwi report what these are, we can work with local residents to ensure that the outcomes for people are better than now. Simply giving people the ability for self-determination by way of choosing a job or business contract will probably do more good for their mental and physical health than many other things. People want opportunities so the feeling of helplessness is taken from them. That coupled with the knowledge that there is support around them, that they can have their life aspirations raised, would have significant impacts on health.
MBIE has suggested we talk directly with the Transport Agency. They are very keen on removing the amount of logging trucks on East Cape public roads. They will assist us to re-align the road to the proposed port. Further we will recommend that an alternative access road and entrance is formed removing any trucks passing local residents houses and the school.
If it doesn’t work is there an exit strategy, as look at the freezing works.
Our feasibility shows that even with existing forests that there is sufficient timber to last to 2030. However as we are all aware you cannot harvest forests with no replanting due to erosion, so we expect that forests will always be available for processing at the East Cape. Our contractual agreements with the land owner means in the unlikely event of a wharf exit, we have to “make good” That means reinstate to how it is now.
However the reality is that if logs stopped for whatever reason, fishing and recreational boats would soon take the log ships place. Further the log storage is planned to be on the plateau 30 meters above the wharf, if logging ceased you would be left with a multipurpose all weather facility (this is however on private property).
What about Ownership?
The wharf facility as a development is low risk commercially, but has a very high threshold of expectation to be a golden egg, environmentally benign, and a political beacon for future prosperity of a depressed and neglected area. In our opinion who owns the wharf is not the real issue for local people. It is same as the road, no one really cares who owns it as long as you can use it to go from A to B.
The wharf facility is an economic business and the funders want to see a return and secure ownership. As long as Terrafermah, the owners, comply with whatever is agreed and improve the wealth, social outcomes and income of residents that should be the focus of local people we believe.
As an example many locals are MLO’s (Maori Land Owners) or Trustees/share holders, but besides the benefit of this knowledge, it has been of little use to them in respect of living standard improvement or income on a yearly basis. Further any benefits seem to only accrue to the very few at the “top table” while the rest just hope maybe some crumbs will fall for them at some stage. What we are offering is to engage direct with local people and ensure that they can join in the banquet at the top table. Sharing the food doesn’t actually require ownership of the table. However they would be expected to reciprocate with support and a will to see the development succeed.
Is there any other Economic Development initiatives for the area?
As noted in item 3 we have ear marked additional funding for development of ancillary service requirements, workshops, fuel storage, housing, security and services reticulation. It is beyond our brief as made clear by MBIE and MSD to affect a social policy that is beyond our commercial ability. We have discussed with MBIE our wish to support local business start-ups, but would have no final say in trade training. We can only request and push the Crown. The Government has huge resources to cover local people concerns about up skilling for work programs. Perhaps the Wharf project saying that they can provide end opportunities, would give the government the comfort that there is an end point if they invest.
HEALTH & WELL BEING
As noted prior the Wharf project will bring an immediate improvement in the Socio economic outcomes for the MLO’s and invigorate much needed attention on the economy of the Coast. We have been assured that MSD will play a lead role in supporting local Government in ensuring your community will have the enhanced resources needed.
The reality is moving people out of a low socio economic environment results in better health, life spans and satisfactions.
In respect to an issue that is core to your people and any person- warm, dry housing. Our associate business MiHomes/NZ construction ltd has housing solutions and is prepared to evaluate and build in suitable areas for your Hapu. This would require funding to be arranged by yourselves/the crown and ourselves. Perhaps to start this now and so again we have some factual information, you could advise in priority, the size of houses and where they need to be? E.g. is it housing for the elders and would they need to be clustered around the marae, is there suitable land there etc.? These houses are low energy use design (not solar however) as you require.
The support of this wharf investment must be given to ensure the local area partakes in the benefits of NZ in the 2000’s. We would wish that when your grandchildren looked back on this watershed opportunity, they saw it as the turning point where your local hapu led the way for economic and social rejuvenation, that was the envy of your own and many other Iwi. That your people today, their children by way of better education, housing and living standards and their children had the benefit of this opportunity of direct involvement and payments of something that was planned and should have been done 25 years ago.
Terrafermah are offering to get on with the job , build it and ensure local Hicks Bay people get some benefits today , not some esoteric theory of building the asset base, where only the ones at the top table get a benefit now, while everyone else is dead and gone, before they see if it actually got shared around.