September 15, 2020
Huhu grub diet would deny coast $45m future
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says being called a knob by Gisborne’s deputy mayor shows the district council is not up to looking after its constituents.
Deputy Mayor Josh Wharehinga posted on Facebook at the weekend opposing the earmarking of $45 million from the shovel ready infrastructure fund to build barging facilities at Te Araroa or Wharekahika-Hicks Bay.
He said it was knob behaviour because the council had already excluded the proposal from its Tairāwhiti 2050 strategy because of hapū opposition.
Mr Jones says the council seems afraid of a tiny group who don’t want development in the area.
"They seem to be saying that the diet of economic development is distasteful and they would prefer fern root and huhu grubs as the future menu for that part of New Zealand. I will never accept that as an acceptable outcome for our fellow Kiwis in that part of Te Tairāwhiti," he says.
Minister Jones says a barge port would save the wear and tear on the roads from logging trucks, open up the economic potential of large tracts of land and turn around the fortunes of people in an area where the average income was $18,000 a year.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com