Twas the week before Christmas, and HDC did lots of business.

At its last meeting of the year, the HDC …

Announced the appointment of a new CEO, Ross McLeod. Mr. McLeod joins HDC from his present position as Director of Corporate and Civic Services at the Waitakere City Council. He’ll begin work on February 11, but BayBuzz has already offered him a free subscription so he can hit the ground buzzing.

Waitakere has a progressive reputation when it comes to sustainable growth, and it appears Mr. McLeod has played a role in shaping that orientation. So we look forward to his bringing that thinking to bear on Hastings District issues.

The Council also formally nudged the Napier Airport runway extension to the next stage.

HDC adopted a resolution supporting extension of the runway to 1900 meters subject to corporatisation and introduction of a $5 per outgoing passenger levy to fund development. Mayor Yule indicated that the Napier City Council was “on the same page” on the scheme. If matters proceed as the Mayor would like, construction could begin as early as the middle of next year.

The Council also voted $10,000 to bankroll the start-up of Mayor Yule’s sustainability initiative, and approved a new strategic plan for the Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre.

Unfortunately, the Council went into public-excluded session to discuss further “progressing” of the supposedly-in-public-consultation Northern Arterial Road project. This move prevented BayBuzz (and the legit media) from understanding firsthand how the Council wasn’t really pre-determining the matter. So I guess we’ll all just mis-report the issue.

But even more sadly, it prevented us from witnessing the Mayor’s End of Year Speech, which we were truly looking forward to as a rousing oratorical occasion.

We eagerly anticipated the Mayor, in his speech, would commit publicly to further public review early next year of the Council’s position on Ocean Beach, in view of the public submission process getting underway then. BayBuzz would have given his speech thunderous applause, worthy of a Cicero!

Now, all we can do is quietly quote from an email we received from His Worship on the matter: “Yes there will be an open meeting discussion in a public meeting in February. The council actually needs to decide if it will make a submission to the Private Plan Change. I believe it should.” Thank you for that, Mayor Yule.

And off Santa and his reindeer flew.


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