As we approach the end of another busy year, there’s much to be excited about for our district – Heretaunga Hastings is on a roll.
I am incredibly proud of our community – it’s been an extraordinarily challenging two years with COVID, but despite that our people are doing amazing things across all sectors of our wonderful district.
Our council has continued to focus on the key aspirations set out in our Long Term Plan 2021-31, reflecting the priorities our community has told us are important.
We are delighted to welcome our six new councillors for the coming term who we know will add to the experience, skills and expertise of our returning councillors for the year ahead.
A real highlight is that after five years we are on the cusp of completing our extensive drinking water upgrades that will deliver safe, reliable drinking water to our communities.
By the middle of next year, we will be celebrating the completion of the entire project and the opening of Waiaroha - what we believe to be the first water education centre in the world that will tell the story of our water as it travels from the mountains to the sea.
Providing homes for our people continues to be a top focus, and while we are making great progress (four motels used for emergency housing have been vacated this year with people moved into homes) there is still much to do.
Our city centre is buzzing! We’ve enjoyed some wonderful events over the past few months such as the Blossom Festival and Taste Hastings, and with our entire Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre now fully open and up and running, there’s even more to look forward to.
In the year ahead we will be turning our attention to the western side of the city, continuing our streetscape upgrades, and creating and encouraging opportunities for inner city living. There’s increasing interest from new businesses keen to establish themselves in this part of the city, where there’s potential for big changes and improvements in the next couple of years.
While there have been many successes projects and developments to celebrate this year, there’s no doubt we have challenges ahead, including national reforms to Three Waters and Local Government.
As a council we are focused on what’s best for our community, and with the diversity of talent and experience we have among our councillors we will be putting our best foot forward in the interests of our district.
In the meantime, with the easing of COVID restrictions we are so glad to be able to hold our Carols in Cornwall event this year – the perfect way to get into the festive spirit.
And there’s lots of other exciting events lined up for summer for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Season’s greetings to you and your whānau, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, a Happy New Year and a fabulous summer.
Mayor of Hastings
5 December 2022
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