Hawke’s Bay’s five councils have broken new ground with all elected representatives coming together in one room to discuss the region’s priorities.
Mayors, Chief Executives and Councillors from Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Wairoa District Council attended the joint regional workshop yesterday.
It’s the first time such a workshop has been organised for all elected members to discuss the wider issues affecting the region, including coastal hazards, transport, housing and three waters.
Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor and chair of the Mayoral Leaders Forum Alex Walker said the region’s leaders were very keen for everyone to understand how they were working together.
“There’s been a lot of healing since the amalgamation debate in Hawke’s Bay.
“A joint regional workshop like this one would never have been held three years ago, or even six years ago.
“Today is about sharing how we are working together on the core issues and to leave with a common view on what regional collaboration looks like.”
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise said the amalgamation debate in 2015 was divisive for the region but the community had moved on and people were now expecting them to work together.
“Our community, and especially our younger people, are looking to us to pull together and work together to look at solutions for the major issues in front of us.”
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said coming together as elected representatives is paramount to take our region forward.
“This is an incredibly exciting day to show how our strong region partnerships can help address our challenges.”
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Rex Graham said the leaders were doing their best to face some major challenges for the region together.
“We need to address issues together if we are going to move forward as a prosperous region in harmony with our environment.”
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little encouraged all the elected members to make the most of this regional collaboration.
“We have a wonderful group of Mayors and a Chair who are working well together to make sure the whole region is benefitting.”
The five councils hope to make this joint regional workshop an annual occurrence.
14 November 2019
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