The removal of large eucalyptus trees along the Ngongotahā stream is progressing steadily and the funding provided has seen benefits including job creation for the local Rotorua community. The project is part of a wider programme to remove problem trees in danger of blocking waterways in the Ngongotahā Catchment.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Senior Projects Manager Rosemary Cross says, the Ngongotahā Tree Removal project is a great story as it has positive outcomes for all involved.
“The contractor we are working with has been able to employ and upskill staff who were recently laid off due to COVID-19. The work to remove the trees has been needed to prevent stream blockages and damage to private properties,” said Ms Cross.
The Regional Council successfully bid for $23m from the COVID-19 Crown Infrastructure Partnership fund for flood resilience work. The funding covers 75% of the costs of the Ngongotahā tree removal project and others across the rohe that will complete or upgrade infrastructure to address specific flood risks in Rotorua, the Western Bay, Whakatāne and Ōpōtiki districts.
The trees will be cut up to supply firewood for the coming winter to local kaumātua in the community.
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