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Tena Koutou Katoa ma ta tau hou: Greetings to you all for the New Year.

Councillor SandraHazlehurst

What an amazing launching pad for 2021! At this time we see many countries around the world back in some form of COVID-19 lockown. But here in NZ and more particularly here in Hastings, we are so grateful we can enjoy our beautiful district with friends and family. Our Hastings year begins with many fabulous summer events. Blasting off with 20,000 people at the Showgrounds for the Six60 Concert, the Bridge Pa Wine Festival, summer concerts, the Hawke’s Bay Earthquake 90th anniversary and the annual Waitangi Day commemorations, as well as Hastings’ celebration of the region’s wonderful Art Deco Festival. All of these events bring visitors to our district allowing us to show all we have to offer and all that we love about Hastings.

We are truly blessed to be able to come together and celebrate all these great events; however, with our country still managing its way through a world-wide pandemic, we need to keep each other safe, so please remember to Track and Trace your way through your daily activities with the COVID-19 App. We are all part of the team of five million.

Over the past year COVID-19 has brought our district both opportunities and challenges. My Mayor’s Taskforce, a collaborative group  of industry leaders, set up to meet economic challenges and identify opportunities for growth and prosperity, meets monthly to find ways to keep our community employed and enhance its wellbeing.  Primarily our health, wellbeing and prosperity comes from our land; we are a primary produce-based economy. So one of our biggest challenges this year is having enough labour to harvest our fruit.  With fewer than 2000 Pasifika seasonal workers returning to help with our harvest, more than ever before our local people are the key to picking and packing our crops this year and getting them to our overseas customers. With the horticultural industry on February 10, we are hosting another Pick the Bay employment expo at Toitoi Arts and Event Centre. If you think you can help our community prosper then this expo is an opportunity for you to enjoy being part of a committed team dedicated to getting our fruit off the trees. So let’s roll up our sleeves and pick and pack our way to a great season’s end.

Infrastructure is big this year for our council.  With central government, iwi and our private sector partners we will be building many more homes for our people.  Our safe drinking water upgrades are progressing well and new water infrastructure for our small communities will be completed this year(see our water update over the page). We will construct the protection wall at Cape View Corner, and open the new off-road cycleway parallel to Waimarama Road, and complete new roading and cycleway upgrading projects.

2021 - here we come! My councillors and I are looking forward to working with our community to deliver great projects and even better services; we want to enhance our District, improve our prosperity and ensure the wellbeing of our people so we can all look to a brighter happier future.

Let’s all make 2021 a happy, healthy and prosperous year for all our people.

29 January 2021

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