BayBuzz has been conducting a survey of attitudes about possible local government reorganization here in Hawke’s Bay. At this point, we have several hundred responses, with nearly equal numbers from Hastings and Napier (not so many from further afield). If you haven’t taken the survey yet, you can do so here. (Be forewarned, the system lets you take the survey only once!)
We’re hearing from all sides on this issue, and we’ll report the full results soon. But most of the respondents who have volunteered comments so far explaining their opinions have tended to call for change. Here’s a sampling. If you disagree with these views, give us your own.
Verbatim Comments from BayBuzz Survey (sample)
Local Government do not possess a YES attitude. Their default is NO, plus a lot of How Hard Can We Make This?
Procrastination has been developed into an art form in Hawke’s Bay.
We are still dumping sewage into the ocean because our council is dictated to by large industry. I would happily subsidise a clean environment, rather than a sports stadium, splash planet etc. I resent watching fireworks displays when I can’t swim in local rivers. Poor priorities are affecting social and environmental well-being. A clean environment will be more attractive in the long run to people and tourists, which results in economic growth. I am ashamed of Hawke’s Bay’s environment and now households are being threated with water levies when there is was no water shortage before vineyards and dairying, which have just increased our environmental problems.
Lack of direction to organisers of two of Hawke’s Bays two major events — Horse of Year and Triple Peaks held same weekend. Accommodation providers unable to receive optimum exposure, Requires tuned-in local catalyst.
Actions affect environment. Private sector largely affects economics. Best municipalities can do is install and maintain top-notch infrastructure to facilitate private investment.
Our local government bodies have huge potential to have an influence over the well-being of the Hawke’s Bay community. However, the separatist nature and backward functioning actions of nearly all of them mean that rate payers essentially support administrators that waste public money due to the lack of leadership of the councils. Councils could do some much more to support the environment, build our communities, and invest in events and the positive outcomes through sport and the arts. All these opportunities are lost.
It is crazy for a region this size to have 5 separate governing bodies. As one, we would be an amazing region and get on with what is needed for Hawkes Bay to grow!
Hawke’s Bay region needs an advocating voice in unison. Regrettably there appears constant squabbling between the present 5 councils. The latter is a major impediment for the region as we have 5 fractional voices.
Why can’t the NCC Councils at least open their minds to the possibility of a better way? As a NCC Rate Payer I will be using my voice and my vote to ensure the next election provides a representative council that actually has the courage to lead.
This situation has been holding Hawke’s Bay back for years – it used to be difficult, now it is actually threatening the region’s prosperity.
I think we need to attract some higher skilled and more capable councillors in general, this would make a difference to local government -merged or not. Unfortunately most people vote for the old folk they know and capable people are too busy to take the job on. Seems to be a bored housewife/retired man coffee club to boost their egos rather than a functioning council.
The current structures suffer through selfishness, self-interest and lack vision to provide a progressive program for the whole region.
There are many examples of councils NOT working together — eg water; sewerage; sports amenities; Fracking!
HDC and NCC take every opportunity to disagree and in turn try and one up each other. The Hawke’s Bay community misses out with a disconnected, inefficient, vision lacking leadership that is holding the province back.
We have lived and worked here twenty years and the same problems then are still here. We struggled to ‘sell the region’ when in our tourism business because we struck such division and lack of cooperation ‘amongst the old die hards’ of parochialism. New blood to HB is the necessary ingredient in strong regional leadership. Oh Boy, what did I say? I will have to wash my mouth out!
Councils may be co-operating but it’s all lip service. Significant issues and policy that contribute to business development and growth are not being unified.
While cooperation should work, history shows that it doesn’t.
Re Councils cooperating – token gestures. The biggest indication of any form of cooperation is being driven by Business HB and the bureaucrats, not the politicians, who are playing the game!
I think it will be important for communities to have meaningful mechanisms for their particular needs and views to be heard.
Community identity is essential – but our current system doesn’t provide it. Look at the NCC Council – there is absolutely no way you can tell me that that is representative of Napier communities. It’s more representative of a rest home.
‘Intelligent’ social knowledge and understanding of a community would be very useful in decision making and would need to be collated by a reliable and efficiently run ‘board’ of sorts. Nit picking, egotistical drones need not apply.
Community identities can be retained easily if someone is looking at an umbrella strategy correctly – they are only lost when group marketing and business isn’t understood. Community Boards could be helpful but I’d avoid any additional bureaucracy and slowing down of needed joint and collective growth.
I think representation on the council from these communities is better than a formal board that simply adds a layer to bureaucracy. The individual councillor may wish to appoint an advisory group (non-paid).
It is vital that the smaller and more far-flung communities don’t lose their identity or voice in decision-making.
Hawke’s Bay is not that big. The only justification for local boards is to make it politically saleable. Waste of resources, better to consult on local issues as they arise.
It’s ridiculous that the smaller district should prevail over a regional majority. These citizens benefit just as much from the regional GDP contributions from the surrounding areas.
What are we going to call it? Let’s call it Napier so we don’t have another 20-year debate!!