© 2022 Resilient River Communities

Resilient River Communities

Positive social outcomes in the Hawke's Bay

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are currently working on a range of flood protection projects producing excellent social outcomes. Not only are they actively establishing iwi and community connections, but they are sharing these initiatives and the learnings with other councils for the betterment of the wider flood protection community. David Keracher, Manager Regional Projects – HBRC, talks about these projects and some of the learnings along the way.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council

“We’re working with a handful of different groups on smaller initiatives to try and meet our social procurement goals, and then to share the knowledge that we’ve gained with other councils who might be struggling to set this stuff up”.

HBRC are working with Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) biosecurity students putting in place a programme to enable student to shadow contractor and to be upskilled in the removal of pest plants around the river bead areas. This project will take place toward the end of this year. Film and media student are also involved in documenting and recording the development of some of these projects.

“We’re also working with a group of local contractors and while they are great at what they do, they need support with aspects of the tendering and proposal process. We’ve established training through a third party to do a tendering workshop, a bit like ‘tendering 101’. Once they’ll completed the course, they’ll be eligible for one-on-one support for completing future tenders not just for our projects but around the region”. 

“Kaitiaki Rangers are involved in two of our other projects, we’re providing them with upskilling and financial assistant to help develop their nursery so they can support us with the Herataunga Plains Flood Control Scheme Project. They been doing some great work over the past few years and have created a benchmark for capabilities for Māori in the region. They brought a lot of Māori back into the workforce including planting teams, contractors. The nursey that has been set up will assist with our projects now and into the future”.

This week works started on HBRC’s flagship stop bank strengthening project, Taradale stopbank. The project is a 2km stretch of stopbank protecting assets with a capital value of over $5 Billion including residential, commercial, infrastructure, bridges, roading. Keracher and his team recently ran a workshop for contractor, subconsultants, and designers regarding social procurement.

“We asked them what social procurement meant to them, and we came out with some fantastic opportunities. Basically everyone in the room wanted to be upskilled by the others in the room. As a result we’ve developed a partnering agreement that say that we’ll all endeavour to upskill each other under a framework of continuing professional development. If someone from a Geotech company wants to be upskilled in earthworks the earthworks contractor will provide the upskilling, but it’s up to them to manage the process. We don’t want to tell contractors what to do we want them to buy into the collaboration and manage it themselves. The onus is on them.”

HBRC will host a social procurement workshop on the 6 Dec which will include all regional council from North Island and virtually in South Island – Guest presenters include Te Wai Māori Trust, Dodge contracting who engage employees through Ministry of Social Development, Kānoa and Mates4Life. The goal will be sharing information to make the social procurement process easier for other councils.