It’s our time in Hastings – Spring – a time of new beginnings and new opportunities.
We are excited to embark on a new term for our council following the recent election, and I would like to acknowledge all the candidate who stood for council, and congratulate those who were successful.
We have an exciting programme in front of us – plans and projects I look forward to working with our councillors, and our Rural Community Board members, to deliver for our communities.
Two important aspirations in our plan are upgrading of our drinking water network and providing homes for our people.
Next year we will celebrate the completion of our water treatment and storage upgrades across the city and in our small communities, and over the coming three years we will continue to work hard to work with our partners to deliver much-needed housing for our community.
Our progress in this area was boosted last month with the government announcement of $18.5m in infrastructure funding to provide the roading and waste and drinking water services to enable another 4000 homes to be built.
Planning for this growth is a key focus ahead of us – we know we need homes for our people, but we also need to protect our precious growing soils.
This means finding ways to build more houses in existing residential areas. This is an expectation of Central Government as well and we currently have a change to our district plan out for public consultation on which I encourage people to give us their feedback.
Part of this work includes looking more at inner city housing, and we are taking the lead on this with a proposal to redevelop the former Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Co-op Association buildings on Queen and Heretaunga Sts West.
Here, we want to create quality apartment inner city living, extra carparks, a pedestrian laneway connecting to Heretaunga St, and a pocket park – providing not only accommodation, but also adding to our revitalisation of the city centre.
Activities like the Blossom Fest and The Big Apple Project are also part of our revitalisation efforts, and what a wonderful weekend we had in September celebrating Spring together and all enjoying our new and improved city spaces.
With summer approaching there’s more to come – including the reopening of our fantastic Splash Planet – it’s a busy month and I hope your friends and whānau have the opportunity to come together and enjoy what’s on offer.
Mayor of Hastings
28 October 2022
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