Doug Jones, CEO of Trust Tairawhiti, expressed optimism about the trust’s role in driving economic recovery for the Tairawhiti region post-COVID and Cyclone Gabriel. With Shane Jones overseeing regional development funding, the CEO believes positive changes are on the horizon.
Doug Jones was running the Ngāi Tāmanuhiri iwi authority when Cyclone Gabrielle hit. He said despite the Te Arai catchment being affected, recently installed flood control efforts averted potential catastrophe. Jones emphasized the importance of collective action and acknowledged the toll on the community.
Looking ahead, Jones addressed the challenge of growing the economy amid COVID lockdowns and extreme weather events. He stressed the benefit of collective efforts, citing a summit on February 23rd with key ministers to align priorities for the region’s development over the next decade.
As Trust Tairawhiti’s CEO, Jones said their role was to support leadership, regional wellbeing, to help shape the future. He said the trust encourages partnerships, declaring Tairawhiti open for business. Jones said it is important to engage with the community to understand needs, aspirations, and facilitate economic development.
Support for initiatives like the Eastland Rescue Helicopter and other community projects will continue. Upgrades to facilities like Whakarua Park and schools enhance regional wellbeing and economic development. The trust’s focus remains on building partnerships, supporting communities, and directing resources where they are needed.