BayBuzz is conducting a poll on big project spending in the region. You can take it here. We want hundreds of voters, thousands even(!) to take the poll throughout January … until our councillors return for duty! We plan to promote the poll to encourage a high “voter turnout.”

Meantime, here are some early returns on seven potential “big ticket” items that are now floating around on Council wish lists:

  • purchasing land for protection at Ocean Beach (an option Mayor Yule has floated while waiting for a land valuation),
  • building a regional sports park,
  • building the “Northern Arterial Route” connecting Havelock North to the Expressway,
  • developing a new community of approx. 150 sustainable & affordable homes in West Flaxmere,
  • rebuilding Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital
  • redeveloping the HB Museum and Art Gallery in Napier
  • extending the runway at Napier Airport

Projects Strongly Oppose Leaning Oppose Leaning Support Strongly Support Undecided

Arterial Road 17% 13% 28% 36% 6%

Ocean Beach 10% 13% 17% 56% 4%
Land Purchase

Sports Park 49% 24% 16% 10% 1%

Airport Runway 26% 13% 24% 31% 6%

Rebuild Hospital 22% 14% 32% 22% 11%

Redevelop Museum 13% 26% 37% 22% 2%

Flaxmere Homes 7% 18% 34% 28% 13%

When we ask the public which project they would pick to proceed, if they could only pick one, these are the current results:

  • 36% Ocean Beach land
  • 20% Airport runway
  • 14% Flaxmere homes
  • 09% HB Hospital
  • 09% Arterial road
  • 08% Napier Museum & Gallery
  • 03% Regional Sports Park

If these early returns hold up, it will be interesting to watch Hastings Councillors continue to champion the regional sports park … virtually half of those responding as of January 16 strongly oppose the project.

But BayBuzz is the first to caution that more survey responses need to come in before any project is declared a winner or loser. That’s why we’re going to keep this poll open — and promote it — into February … about the time our elected officials return for duty.

We’ll report ongoing results on these projects periodically during the weeks ahead.

So if you and your friends care passionately about one or another of these projects — either “For” or “Against”, or just worry about spending in general, BayBuzz urges you to get yourselves organized TO TAKE THE SURVEY! It just takes a couple of minutes and you can do it online here.

Only one response per computer is accepted, so no individual can “stack the deck.” The only way to make a big impact on the projects you care about is to get lots of folks to vote. Tell your friends about the survey!

These projects will consume millions and millions of dollars. You can sit back and hope for the best (and guess where that will get you?!), or you can take this opportunity to sound off now, while these projects are still on the drawing boards.

But this is not just an “anti-spending” poll … as the early returns indicate, area ratepayers appear willing to open their pocketbooks for some projects. Have YOUR say on which ones!


Tom & Mark