Firstly, thank you Hastings for electing me as your Councillor. I am humbled by your support and excited about my new role.
I have a number of priorities and a range of objectives I am passionate about.
I want to grow our economy by attracting people and new businesses to live and invest in Hastings. To thrive, we need to promote the Hastings District to New Zealand and overseas. We have some of New Zealand’s best water, fertile land, food, wine, landscapes, infrastructure, events, facilities, and schools. And of course our biggest asset … our wonderfully passionate and talented people. Because of the opportunities and lifestyle we have, we need to specifically market all those advantages to prospective residents and new businesses, so they see the benefits of living and investing in Hastings.
An important part of my vision is to showcase Hastings District’s history by establishing a People’s and Settler’s Museum. A district the size of Hastings has a rich heritage that should be showcased and celebrated. I also want to revitalise the Civic Square/City Art Gallery and surroundings. I consider these surrounds to be under-utilised. I would like more people to enjoy their beauty and I want to connect them more strongly to the city centre.
Promoting the new Hawke’s Bay Sport Park is critical to its success. It must be positioned as a national events centre as well as being strongly supported by groups and organisations throughout our region. The community, social and personal growth benefits resulting from the Sports Park will make it a cornerstone of the region’s well being.
I have a number of goals for the Central Business District (CBD). It is critical we practically and aesthetically connect Home HQ at Nelson Park to the city centre. This will promote the health and vitality of the CBD. At the same time, we need to direct traffic through the CBD instead of sending shoppers around the outskirts of the city. Connecting the east and west shopping precincts will allow the city to function as a whole and grow the retail sector.
Finally, I want to provide more play areas for families and youth. Hastings City needs an outdoor skate bowl and more interactive recreational spaces for our young people. I want to see Splash Planet’s play areas open to the public throughout the year. It makes little sense for Splash Planet to be open for only four months of the year.
These objectives are my focus.