In May, the Ministerial Inquiry into land use associated with the mobilisation of woody debris and sediment in Te Tairawhiti and Wairoa was released. An inquiry demanded by the people. It is aptly titled, 'Outrage to Optimism".
By now you will have heard people, organisations, communities, and local government itself either endorse or reject the report, but there's no denying the power or logic that exists within its recommendations and rationale.
If you haven't read it yet, I implore you to do so. It is written in a way that leans heavily into story making it relatable and compelling whilst also being factual, practical and logical.
I will be unpopular in saying that I personally endorse the report, knowing that the Gisborne District Council has been identified as being a key factor in the current devastation of our region.
I was raised to believe that part of leadership is admitting when you're wrong, owning when you haven't performed and acknowledging that you need help. That's where we are and that's what our people need from us.
So often the small communities that face woody debris on a daily basis are left to fend for themselves, most with high Māori populations, all out of sight and out of mind for the city centre. This report brings us all to the forefront and demands our needs and our issues be addressed.
They don't need to see all the things we've done right, they need us to own where we have failed because ultimately that is how we validate the suffering felt across our region, by our people.
From where I am standing the region itself has supported the report, iwi, the Eastland Wood Council, community groups, agencies and the people themselves.
We have the steps written out in black and white, we need to figure out how we can work together to implement them, leave the ego at the door and walk forward with the interests of our people and the quality of their lives as our beacon and guiding light.
The recommendations and commentary are a tough pill to swallow, but once we do, we can start to accept the help, the resources, the expertise and follow the road map from destitution to prosperity, or better yet, outrage to optimism.