The Raetihi community to be consulted on RAL funding

Feedback from the Raetihi community will be sought on how to spend $100,000 worth of funding resulting from the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts’ diesel spill in 2013.

The money is the net proceeds of a fine paid to Horizons Regional Council by RAL and has been set aside for projects that benefit the local environment and community.

Horizons Regional Councillor for Ruapehu, Bruce Rollinson, says the Council’s preference in making these surplus funds available is as a mitigation package for enhancement on the Mākōtuku  Stream and surrounds in Raetihi. While this has been raised in the media, no specific funds for any projects have been allocated.

“The diesel spill had a major impact on the Raetihi community and we want to ensure this money goes back into a project or series of projects that the community will really value and support. Horizons is committed to that goal and to consulting with the wider community before making a final decision,” he says.

“The next step for us is to set up a project group comprising community representatives, iwi, Ruapehu District Council, Horizons, DOC and RAL to discuss ideas and present some options back to the community. At that point we’ll be asking how people think the money would be best spent to the benefit of the Mākōtuku and Raetihi.”

The first meeting of the project group will take place in mid to late June at which point a timeline will be set for community consultation.