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Mayor's Message

mayor h and s

2023 has been a year like no other for our community.

In February we were hit by one of the biggest natural disasters our region has ever experienced and it had a huge effect on our community as a whole – but of course especially those who were directly impacted.

Throughout this whole time, what has been a constant has been the amazing, generous, selfless and at times brave support people have provided for those most in need – both voluntary and in the course of their jobs and professions.

We are on the road to recovery, but there are many challenges ahead for the district as a whole as we rebuild and those most impacted get some certainty around moving on with their lives.

While the cyclone response and recovery has been a big focus, there’s been many memorable and exciting moments and achievements for our community.

We opened the wonderful Waiaroha Heretaunga Water Discovery Centre, continued to progress building more homes for our people, opened the upgraded St Leonard’s Park playground, and had record numbers of people attend the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival.

We held ceremonies for a record number of new citizens to our district over the year – it’s fantastic to see the increasing diversity of our community and learn from the many different cultural backgrounds of those who have chosen to call Hastings home.

Our Civic Honours awards again recognised some wonderful individuals and groups who give back to others – these people, and many more like them, are unsung heroes who voluntarily and tirelessly contribute to the wellbeing of others.

Our outstanding growers and business people were celebrated at various awards events over the year – the depth of talent, resourcefulness and commitment across our district never fails to impress.

Another notable feature of 2023 was it being the 150th year since the town of Hastings was founded and it was amazing to commemorate this milestone with the community – in reflecting on the past it highlighted the resilience and passion the people who came before us have for our place.

As you will see in this edition there are a lot of events coming up ahead of Christmas and through summer

I hope you and your friends and whānau get the opportunity to take some time out and enjoy some rest and relaxation after a busy and challenging year.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

24 November 2023

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