Good news!

Here’s the full text of the media release issued Monday afternoon by the mayors of Napier, Hastings, Wairoa, CHB and the chairman of the Regional Council …

“The Mayors, Chair and Chief Executives of the 5 Hawke’s Bay Councils have agreed to undertake a study of Hawke’s Bay’s economic and social performance and how to improve this. An analysis of the issues, priorities and processes will identify the problems and how they might be solved. The solutions may lie across a raft of different sectors, including local government.

Terms of Reference have been broadly agreed by the group and will be drawn up by the Chief Executives. The joint group of Mayors, Chair and Chief Executives will commission a highly qualified, respected, independent person to oversee the study. This person will be appointed early in the new year.

We envisage a robust examination of the Hawke’s Bay issues and all the leaders are committed to this work.”

So far, so good.

BayBuzz understands that the more detailed terms of reference will be drafted by CEOs within a week, so they can be reviewed by the respective councils promptly. Hopefully the “independent person” who will oversee the study will also have an opportunity to mould the workplan.

Unstated in the release — but presumably to be addressed in the more detailed terms of reference — is how the public will participate in the study process, the time frame involved, and the budget and funding for the exercise.

That said, it’s a far better start than one might have predicted a few weeks ago, reflecting well on all the leaders involved.

Tom Belford

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