Our diverse aspirations for the Bay… can they co-exist?

Major challenges confront our community leaders as they look forward into 2012.

Some will be handed to them by events outside their control – such as managing economic survival (let alone growth) in a period of continuing, if not worsening global economic stress. Or coping with another weather bomb.

Other challenges will be deliberately chosen as leaders from all sectors articulate their visions, set their near-term priorities, and plan strategies for achieving them.

To learn where Hawke’s Bay’s community leaders are pointed for the near-term future, BayBuzz asked a diverse group of about three dozen individuals to share their aspirations and ‘big ideas’ … each in a few words (we gave our regular columnists a bit more space).

What you will find is some exciting thinking, some anxiety about vexing problems facing the Bay, and some future visions that might not be fully compatible with one another.

Not surprisingly, most individuals from a business background are focused on growing Hawke’s Bay’s economy. Their visions talk about infrastructure, amenities and the actual process of formulating and achieving grander aspirations for the Bay. Let’s call them Builders.

An exemplar Builder would be Graeme Avery, CEO of Sileni Estates, who has consistently sought to advance bold visions for the Bay, starting with his championing of the Bay’s original ‘Wine Country’ branding. We thought Graeme might rattle a few cages. What he has written is more like shock therapy, arguing that the Bay is languishing the face of unprecedented need for dramatic and rapid change. He says we have no choice, we must ‘let go of the past’.

Another group is not so enamored of a ‘full speed ahead’ growth vision for the Bay. These individuals want change, to be sure, but their visions spring from a concern about the nature of growth and its consequences … especially from an environmental sustainability standpoint, but also in terms of the lifestyle values we should embrace here in the Bay. Let’s call them Stewards.

David Trubridge might be the archetypal Steward, staunchly advocating a more locally-centered, harmonious-with-nature, and less materially-focused future for the Bay. To those whose mantra is that the Bay must be outward-focused and growth-driven, David would say, Phooey!

There are large contingents of both Builders and Stewards in Hawke’s Bay … the former holding more of the formal and informal levers of power, but the latter increasingly upset and engaged politically. An interesting question looking ahead is whether these two worldviews can peacefully co-exist.

Somewhere between these two camps are a number of leaders whose daily life experience is dealing with the Bay’s more disadvantaged residents. These individuals have concerns about whether the Bay’s ‘good life’ will ever be enjoyed by a major chunk of the Bay’s population. They see plenty of families struggling. Let’s call them Helpers.

Many of the Helpers would like to see both Builders and Stewards pay more direct attention to this large segment of Hawke’s Bay’s population. Helen Jacobi, Dean of Waiapu Cathedral, worries about this population. She wants a region where no one is left behind, and thinks councils and churches should lead.

Acting on visions

I grant that these are broad brush strokes … an amateur first pass at a ‘sociology’ of Hawke’s Bay. Most individuals probably don’t fit any single category.

The Bay’s socially concerned Builders, for example, would argue that only by improving the Bay’s overall economic prospects can we hope to offer a better life to those now on the bottom rungs, whose numbers are growing. The Stewards would argue that we need to get our relationship with nature right first … that mismanaging our natural resources and environment will doom any long term economic prosperity, whether for the many or the few. And the Helpers might agree with both, but say impatiently, we have no time for trickle down, we need to act now.

On the other hand, some would argue that it’s not really community visions – articulated in reports and planned and pursued by committees – that drive us forward. Instead, we simply have in the community an accumulation of individual visions, each pursued with whatever degree of passion and ability we individually muster. Then, sometimes, without any master plan, one or another of those individual visions is achieved, with remarkable benefits to the community. Paul Paynter advances this view in his column.

Nevertheless, there are definite clusters in the visions and ideas that follow … some people dream about growth, some about restoring the environment, some about better education or more ample social services. Maybe you can discern some intriguing patterns.

To the degree our visions for Hawke’s Bay differ – possibly even conflict – they must be somehow blended, balanced or traded-off in our local political processes, as carried out by our various councils. Coping with the competing values behind alternative community visions is the stuff of politics.

Although this happens in mundane ways in the daily conduct of councils’ business, in 2012 some key value choices will play out with much greater public visibility … and opportunity for public participation.

First, we have the triennial re-write of our councils’ long term plans (LPTs, focused on the next three years). The LPTs will be put to bed by 30 June and are the official forum for discussing whatever visions or ‘big ideas’ for Hawke’s Bay (or Hastings, Napier, Wairoa, CHB) you or I might have. Weigh in!

Second will be the emerging debate over the socioeconomic performance of Hawke’s Bay and whether local government should be re-constituted to help improve that situation. That debate will require you to have some vision about the kind of Hawke’s Bay you want, and then to make a judgment as to how to best organize and mobilize to get there.

The third major vision and value choice for 2012 will revolve around how to manage and protect the quality of the region’s water. That might not sound immediately deserving of highlighting here, but surely it is. Water has many values – ecological, recreational, economic, spiritual – which must be sorted in 2012 in a way that ensures a sustainable future for Hawke’s Bay.

Whatever your vision of Hawke’s Bay, water will be a critical factor in whether it will be achieved. Very critical water decisions will be made this year. As Regional Council chief executive Andrew Newman recently noted, our water outcomes can be win/win or win/lose … and if the latter, it’s not clear who wins and who loses.

So, the stage is set for 2012. Big visions. High aspirations. Important choices to be made. Hopefully the visions on the following pages will inspire you … or rally you to counter with your own!

Note: All of these visions are published online at www.baybuzz.co.nz. We urge you to comment on them and contribute your own.

Grow our cultural sector

Barbara Arnott, Mayor, Napier

Positivity, realism, passion about doing rather than just talking, are just a few things I’d like the Bay to achieve. Here’s some flesh.

We need to consolidate the economy around the upturn of the rural sector commodities globally. The uncertainty in Europe is a concerning factor, but in itself, should not impact on the local community’s willingness to consume without borrowing. It is important that the economy returns to manageable growth, so that the critical sectors of building, port, tourism, primary producers and retail are able to contribute as they have in the past.

The completion of the HB Museum and Art Gallery as a central part of the arts culture and heritage of the region. Culture has always been important since the Athenaeum was established on the same site in 1859. Our first regional library books were delivered from there in 1874. The growth of our cultural sector is critical to attracting creative, talented people to our area. We need to continue to build amenities that benefit a wide diverse population.

Underground vision

Kevin Atkinson, Chairman, Unison

My vision starts underground, with the wires, pipes and fibre that service our community’s basic needs for power, fuel and connectivity.

As a company owned by the power consumers of Hawke’s Bay, we take seriously our responsibility to meet these needs at fair prices, while returning a significant dividend to our public owners.

My own personal view is that the community would be well-served if Unison used its infrastructure skills and innovation capability to deliver efficiently to homes and businesses all of their resource needs – electricity and fibre/broadband connectivity today, but also gas and even water reticulation tomorrow.

The smart technology available today enables us to build and meter an integrated service delivery system, yielding significant savings in planning, installation and maintenance … more effective conservation of natural resources … and hopefully even efficiencies in dealing with local authorities as we seek consents, comply with regulations and undertake construction.

Sound infrastructure is the critical nerve and circulatory system enabling our region’s day-to-day economic functioning and our future growth. If we get right what’s in the ground, then we can lift our sights to higher aspirations for Hawke’s Bay. For example, before long, renewable energy technology can be used to make individual power consumers into occasional power suppliers to the grid.

At Unison, we’re prepared to play our part in driving Hawke’s Bay in innovative directions.

Only green makes sense

Bruce Bisset, Columnist

The challenge to the Bay is to remain the premier food-producing region of New Zealand, offering prestige products to the world market. To achieve this we must remain GE-free, minimise agrichemicals and become as organic-certified as practicable – because that is the premium growth niche.

This requires a stronger and more effective Regional Council that proactively protects (for example, by placing a moratorium on GE and on fracking) and aggressively prosecutes polluters – both diffuse and point-source. In short, a Council that has a comprehensive land use regime covering all user activities, and enforces the standards required to produce the optimum result without fear or favour.

It is time those resistant to sustainable practices are forced to either change or get out of business. The HBRC has the power to take these steps; they can no longer delay implementing them.

Bottom line is, we’re green or black – and only one of those makes any sense.

United and GE Free

John Bostock, President, J.M. Bostock

We often only value the things we wish for, and neglect to value the things we have until we lose them.

So it is with Hawke’s Bay’s GE free status, an amazing asset that I want to protect and promote. Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly concerned with food safety. Many consumers have little idea what they are eating and how many GMOs are in their shopping basket. In fact in some parts of the world it is impossible to avoid corn and soya products contaminated by GMOs.

This provides HB with an amazing opportunity to brand itself as uniquely pure and GE free.

The other related dream I have is for the Bay to become more untied and not fractionated by the historical structures that belong to a different age. It is a ridiculous waste, duplication and confusion to have five territorial authorities looking after a population a little more than 10% the size of Auckland. Hawke’s Bay has suffered by not having a united voice to lobby for things such as velodromes, roads and, years ago, the HB university.

My vision is for a united and GE Free Hawke’s Bay.

Support the Community that Supports You

Blair Cross, HBS Bank

Hawke’s Bay … a place where locals get behind locals. I’d see business and the people of Hawke’s Bay supporting fellow Hawke’s Bay businesses, people and the community.

We know times are tough, but most of us have the means to contribute our resources and energies into our local community. Each of us has a responsibility to make this happen. Get along to your school gala, get involved in your local sports organisations, support local events. You’ll love the experience! Be creative and support our hardworking community groups and activities. Hold on to, and build the ‘feel good’ feeling!

To encourage this support to happen, Hawke’s Bay has a responsibility to ensure that our local community-based facilities and infrastructure are of a world class standard. When they are, I’m sure locals would support and encourage others to utilise these great facilities.

If we get behind our own region first, we’ll see our local communities prosper, in turn this will stimulate the wider economy and result in a more positive and more vibrant Hawke’s Bay.

Did You Hear That?

Robert Darroch, CEO, Future Products Group

Another plane just landed direct from Australia. It’s full of tourists and local business people returning to the Bay.

Fortunately we have finally seen common sense in promoting Hawke’s Bay as a region and dividends are now paying off with significant growth in tourism and export opportunities. The like-minded majority has superseded the small-minded minority, trees are still hugged, and personal agendas are gone. Good news … regional growth has become a common focus.

Tourists have come to spend a relaxing weekend in one of New Zealand’s easiest places to live, work and play, and why wouldn’t they? Walkways to wineries with plenty of top-class accommodation, and activities to ensure their stay is a best-in-class experience. The week has been busy with overnight stays from cruise ships.

Local businesses are booming. They have up-skilled themselves at local business growth centres and are now fit and ready to export. They will take advantage of the low-cost direct flights to Australia and this will mean that we can use our skilled and capable local workforce to take advantage of the multi-billion dollar Australian projects that are underway over the next decade.

The Bay has grown from a backwash regional economic pile to the benchmark of prosperity and growth.

Two years to get ready, then bring on 2014!

Stand Tall for the Bay

Murray Douglas, CEO, HB Chamber of Commerce

My vision for Hawke’s Bay:

  • A more diversified, stronger, profitable business sector
  • Sustainable business confidence that the Bay is the best regional place to do business
  • Businesses from outside Hawke’s Bay envy us and queue up to come establish and profitably trade from here.
  • Our people believe this and stand tall.

Sending Invoices Overseas

Rod Drury, CEO, Xero

Technology is making the nature of work more global. Almost ironically, globalisation can transform regional areas like Hawke’s Bay as location becomes irrelevant.

Hawke’s Bay is well known as a great place to visit, and technology is also making the Bay the best place to live, especially when you have school age children – often mid career time.

My vision for Hawke’s Bay in 2012 is to see local businesses participate globally and see the Bay attract new global workers into our area. Attracting global residents brings networks, experience and investment capital.

A starting point is connecting your business and home to fibre, joining global conversations using networking sites, using desktop video to connect to family and business contacts. Experiencing how technology has made the world smaller is a key step towards trading overseas.

When it’s normal for Hawke’s Bay businesses to send invoices overseas each month, New Zealand will be on a much better path.

One More Night

Annie Dundas, General Manager, Hawke’s Bay Tourism

Hawke’s Bay Tourism is getting the local tourism industry to try and sell an extra night this summer. It’s based around every tourism provider, front of house manager, coach driver, or store owner being able to share their three favourite Hawke’s Bay Gems. An extra night means we sell more flat-whites, more meals, beds, excursions, groceries and probably more sunscreen, sunhats and berocca. Across the year that could mean an additional $32 million spent inHawke’s Bay!

But this isn’t just about the tourism sector. Hawke’s Bay locals can be part of this too. With nearly 2 million visitors staying with friends and family in Hawke’s Bay each year, we need locals to start talking about their own Hawke’s Bay Gems.

Wouldn’t it be pretty amazing if everyone in Hawke’s Bay could rattle off three favourite Hawke’s Bay Gems wherever and whoever they were with! Whether it’s a trip to Cape Kidnappers, an Art Deco Walk or a day biking the Hawke’s Bay Trails or simply fish and chips on the beach, everyone will have their own gems. Be proud locals and share your three favourite Hawke’s Bay Gems far and
wide … and make your visitors stay
another night.

Hawke’s Bay… Back Yourself

Jason Fox, HB Maori Business Network

In 2011 local business leaders set up a growth promotion organisation called Business Hawke’s Bay, with no women or Mãori involved. Then 23 Hawke’s Bay businesses invested in the NZ hockey team.

I sense a widening gap between the leadership and our working community.

My goal for 2012 would be to see the same 23 Hawke’s Bay businesses visit the Mãori community and ask: “How can we help build a great future for your children and how can we help your community?”

That would be my wish for 2012 for the Bay.

Try the Alternative

Angela Hair, Homeopath & Environmentalist

Biodiversity – it starts in the human gut, and is destroyed by repeated use of antibiotics. Millions of colonies of gut bacteria are vital to our health. I look forward to the day when every Hawke’s Bay parent is told by their GP how to look after the internal flora of their child’s gut.

Growing nutrient rich kids – in my ideal health care world, much more resource would be poured into optimum nutrition than into mass medication programmes like fluoridation and vaccination. Every child would be given breast milk as their first food and eating nutritionally dense fresh fruit, vegetables and protein sources would be an essential part of every child’s day.

Facilitate self-healing – my vision for Hawke’s Bay is to see homeopathy, osteopathy and the many other effective complementary therapies offered free to 0-5 year olds alongside conventional medicine. In many cases, it is cheaper and more effective to facilitate self-healing through natural therapies than to use expensive pharmaceutical drugs as first treatment.

Greater Connection to the Natural World

Greg Hart, Central Hawke’s Bay Farmer

Firstly, we must honour the incredible privilege it is to live in this place. With it’s snowy mountains, bush covered hills, beautiful rivers, productive land and good climate, with glorious beaches and ocean as well as the diversity of people that make Hawke’s Bay a great place to live.

If we are to pass this precious gift on to future generations, we have to play our part in transitioning to a low-carbon society where our economy functions within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere.

This will require a re-localisation of much of the economy and a lot less material consumption. Rather than being a sacrifice, this will be an exciting time of transition resulting in happy, healthy families and communities that thrive with a greater connection to the natural world … a connection that creates more meaning and is spiritually fulfilling.

Biodiversity will increase, resulting in clean water, healthy soil and animals, and ultimately, more nutritious food.

While energy demands decrease we can become more self-sufficient by producing the energy we need to maintain our comfortable life.

Hawke’s Bay – what better place to journey beyond sustainability!

Leave No One Behind

Dean Helen Jacobi, Waiapu Cathedral

In Hawke’s Bay we want to build a region with opportunity and growth, but also a region where no one is left behind.

At the Cathedral we welcome visitors every day from all over the world – tourists who bring dollars into our economy.

There is another group of regular visitors at the Cathedral – a reasonably steady stream of people needing help, usually asking for money or a place to stay. I think most of them are homeless. Some we see only once; others come back often. We have no means of supporting these people and send them away empty handed. The numbers of requests are on the increase.

If our new government pursues its plans to cut back on welfare eligibility and payments we will certainly have more people at our door. If the poor aren’t looked after, then we all have a problem.

Our Councils need to take a look at the needs of the poorest in our community. There will be local solutions to these needs. A “triage” centre has been suggested where we can refer people so they can be connected with the social services they need. The churches will be willing partners in such a project in order to see that no one is left behind.

Economy Without Ecology?

Dr Gavin Kenny, Environmental Educator and Consultant

There is a lot of talk in the region about economy: how to stimulate economic growth for the future in a world that is facing challenging economic times.

The economy is important, yet cannot operate independently of ecology. The “eco” in both economy and ecology is derived from the Greek “oikos” which means “home”. Ecology is how we order our home, economy is how we manage it. Our first priority ought to be to ensure that our home is in order.

My vision for the future of Hawke’s Bay is that a much stronger ecological understanding is developed in the region as a foundation for a truly sustainable and resilient economy and society.

It is only through a deepened understanding of ecology and our social connection with our ecological resource base that we will develop the degree of resilience required to prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead.

Looking Out for Each Other

Caroline Lampp, Manager of DOVE Hawke’s Bay

My hope would be that over the next year or two communities across Hawke’s Bay would get to know their neighbours better and really start to look out for each other.

There is an African proverb that says … “It takes a village to raise a child” and I would love to see communities, neighbourhoods and streets coming together to help each other care for children and those who need support.

Over the summer, street parties and BBQs are a great way to get to know your neighbours. Making it a BYO food and drinks occasion means that it doesn’t cost anyone a lot of money and it can be great fun.

If we all get to know our neighbours, have some fun together, look out for each other’s children, support those who need support and live in community with each other – what a fabulous place this Hawke’s Bay of ours will be.

Those are my hopes and dreams for the next few years in Hawke’s Bay.

Waterways are our Taonga

Margaret Akata McGuire, Chairperson, Kohupatiki Marai

The Waterways are our Taonga. To us at Kohupatiki–Whakatu, we knew the river as the Ngaruroro. Today it is known as Te Karamu–Waimate–Clive River.

In the 1950s and ‘60s we were still enjoying the plentiful supply of fish for all, smelt, whitebait, herrings, kahawai, flounder, mullet and eels. We were even blessed with the seasonal visit of the White Herons come springtime, a telltale sign that fish was on the run, plus a lot of recreational activites had by us kids along the awa, in the summertime.

Come the 1990s what we noticed was less fish and the catch and size itself all small. There was more weed and the water quality was suspect as well. We even started renaming the species greenbait, brownbait and blackbait. No one was getting into the water anymore and if one did, you went in with gumboots on as it was hard to make out the colour scheme of the water. By 2000 those who persevered still left trying to catch a fish a day, instead ended up lamenting about the good old days
catching 5kg of whitebait in one scoop. Over this period we’ve witnessed and read about Tutae (faeces) floating down our stream.

In my Dad’s and Uncle’s day they went walking, swimming, wading, spearing and came home with breakfast, lunch and tea and fed the whole whanau. The thing is you have go to another place to do a similar activity, be it catching or exercising. The only reason we are not down at the river is because it’s polluted, unfriendly and downright in a shameful state.

The responsibility to care for our rivers belongs with the whole community. It will require collectivity and collaboration of all the key stakeholders, Whanau Hapu Iwi and work with those agencies charged with the responsibilities of looking after the environment and all who reside within the catchment.

Thinking of Council I would like to sign off with this quote from one of our City Councillors, simple but effective … “Enough is Enough”.

Win the Shield

Matt Miller, Managing Director, Mogul

Hawke’s Bay desperately needs to win the Ranfurly Shield.

I grew up in Christchurch in the 1980s. Canterbury held the Ranfurly Shield for 3 years and it gave the region a huge boost in morale at a time when the region and the sport were at a low ebb. I believe the positive effects are still being felt today. A whole generation of us grew up ‘one-eyed’ and really proud of our province.

Winning the shield is not like the All Blacks winning the world cup … it’s much better. As All Black fans, we have a sense of entitlement and we feel aggrieved and bitter whenever the All Blacks lose. Shield rugby is a much more positive experience. And when you’ve got the Shield it’s a knockout – and a sellout – every week, not just once every four years.

The Shield brings people together, it promotes participation in sport, and it fosters a sense of pride that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Go the Magpies!

Creative Hub

Maree Mills, Director, Hastings City Art Gallery

Hawke’s Bay is seen as a number one destination for culture vultures and alternative thinkers. Museum, art galleries, theatres, education facilities, retreat centres, recreation and exceptional geography, alongside unprecedented access to Mãori culture, attract accelerated eco-tourism and new young permanent residents.

The Cicada design hub in Whakatu will exponentially grow and attract young ‘creatives’ from around the world who form a leading ‘think tank’ for the future of the planet.

“Deco City” Napier will be linked to “Counter Culture” Hastings by lightning fast solar powered rail. iWay bike trail links new ‘off the grid’ villages to cities along historical/cultural pathways. Hawke’s Bay boasts the nation’s most beautifully designed and successful eco-village.

We are one of the most visited virtual sites on the internet in the world. Our cultural output is legendary.

Buzzing with Ideas

Graham Norton, Executive Director, 3R Group

It’s 2025 and Hawke’s Bay is buzzing. It has a growing group of ‘best in class’ – world class businesses, driven by far sighted entrepreneurs who feed off and egg on each other. The types of business are diverse but they share a few things in common. The entrepreneurial drive is beyond the ‘boat, bach and BMW’; the market is beyond HB and, in most cases beyond NZ; the USP and value comes from ideas. The businesses demonstrate leadership. The debates about local government, amalgamated or otherwise have subsided because they have finally been found to be less relevant to sustainable development than the leadership that good business can provide. Where did this ‘buzz’ come from?

It came from within.

Empowering Rangatahi Leaders

Jacoby Poulain, Councillor, Hastings District

Hawke’s Bay has a song seldom sung. We have high achieving and inspirational young Mãori achieving great feats. We have many more waiting in the wings to be raised. Unseen, untapped capacity exists in bucket loads around the Bay and it’s time to mobilise it.

Our community stands to benefit enormously if we nurture and support this rich cultural wealth and source of strength inherent in our rangatahi, who often have an unusual and innate passion to serve the land and people they are connected to. Through empowering and equipping our rangatahi leaders we are placing more on the front lines to fight the good fight in Hawke’s Bay, to lead positive change and to raise other young leaders to follow in the paths they pave.

Amongst other initiatives in 2012 I look forward to help let shine this hidden leadership in our midst.

Build Social Capital

Des Ratima, ‘Mayor’ of Whakatu

He aha te mea nui o te Ao hurihuri? He tangata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people.

Communities can overcome adversity if they have a strong cohesive spirit, wrapped around agreed outcomes of helping families move forward with the ideology that puts people before profits.

The economic model of success is the accumulation of financial capital. This is at odds with the more difficult model of social captial – the value of self worth, of contribution and the value of fellowship.
I offer these three initiatives in support of a social capital approach:

  • Establish ‘Community Chests’ through targeted rates which deliver on community projects identified in the community plan.
  • Develop and promote public transport between Dannevirke and Wairoa using the railway network. Use bus services for the intercity networks.
  • Initiate new and accelerate current riparian margin development of all
    our waterways.

Unity on the Value of Water

Hugh Ritchie, Central Hawke’s Bay Farmer

My number one wish and goal would be to have in 3-5 years’ time a unified position on the value water delivers for the whole of Hawke’s Bay, with the acceptance that storage for irrigation is a critical piece of the water plan. This will require public acceptance that intensive agriculture can be managed with regard to water quality and that water users accept change in supply and management.

Setting catchment limits on nutrient run-off and creating management systems that meet those limits will be the corner piece of delivering the above goal. This piece of work will be a first and will be very complex to get right and implement.

Executed well, it will give peace of mind to the wider community and security to water users, reducing tension between the rural and urban communities with the expectation that both will benefit.

Something Instantly Achievable

Chris Ryan, Conservationist

I do have one simple grass roots idea to improve our environment immediately. No lengthy consultation or RMA involvement is necessary.

The idea simply involves spending less time mowing grass. Hundreds of acres of lawns, verges, parks, school grounds and reserves are mown for many months of every year. Is it really necessary to mow all this grass so often? The allover tidy look is incompatible with a rich biodiversity.

The benefits of less mowing are many and varied: Less fuel, oil and air pollution. Less machinery use and maintenance costs. More time to do other work. More visual appeal with flowering plants. Large increases in plant species, Widespread habitats for bees and other beneficial insects. Finally, the potential value of educational opportunities.

I would like to see many schools doing useful biological and economic research on the adoption of this scheme. Schools and councils could initiate trial areas especially in highly visual areas.

A scheme that I have long wished to see made part of our building regulations and district plans is the compulsory adoption of solar design and devices together with grey water use in all new houses and commercial buildings.

We have made excuses for far too long. Let’s see Hawke’s Bay lead the way in taking some concrete environmental action!

Needed: Regional Solidarity

Jacob Scott, Artist

An opportunity that’s on our doorstep … a regional project approach to establish a positive dynamic.

If we could get some solidarity as a region and muster a dynamic for change it could make a difference. I detect a general feeling that we’re all left floundering in limbo land while there are issues to be addressed, decisions to be made and follow through actioned.

We all know the world is a changing place, but we seem to be bogged down and managed by a bunch of clerks. A disenfranchised population does not project positives.

What if we made a stand with these cruise ships that visit Napier and said:

‘If you come here, then this is how we will do it. We know we’ve got a standout place in Aotearoa and the world. We want to show it off properly and grow the experience. Our businesses and people want to benefit more, because at the moment we’re being used as a port of call and nobody wins.’

Improving Movement Skills

Colin Stone, Chief Executive, Sport Hawke’s Bay

Through the Sport Hawke’s Bay Strategic Plan Tui Tuia (Weave Together), we have identified some key areas where we see investment as critical.

We believe that the development of the fundamental movement skills of young people is absolutely critical in enhancing the physical activity pathway for kids through sport and active recreation. If young children cannot run, jump, throw, balance properly, have limited eye/hand coordination and lack spatial awareness, it is harder for youngsters to progress through activities and into the specific skills required for individual sports.

We currently employ two staff in the early childhood area who specialise in Active Movement and the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Award. We now want to put greater emphasis on this area of our work by connecting the Early Childhood sector to specialist providers to really advance the Fundamental and Foundation skills pathway.

Our Primary School Teachers also need greater support in the delivery of the PE curriculum and we are looking to improve and develop our resources to give teachers more confidence in this area, thus improving the movement pathway for kids.

Finally, it will be our goal to use sport and active recreation as part of a coordinated community development initiative with our local authorities, for communities such as Wairoa, Maraenui, Camberley and Flaxmere.

Establishing a Maori Innovation Centre

Ngaiwi Tomoana, Chairman, Ngati Kahungunu

One of the goals set by our hikoi around our 90 marae in 2001 was to establish a Ngati Kahungunu Cultural Centre by 2026. We intend to do this by early 2013!

We have rebranded it an ‘Innovation Centre’ that will cater for the modern needs of the Iwi including a small business and tourism hub, an R&D centre, a niche retail sector, a specialist seafood restaurant, a recording centre and small film studio, an amphitheatre for live performances, with many other facets including a gym and a place for multi- sports people to train and store their gear.

All totally immersed in our Kahungunutanga, of course, but reflective of the wider Hawke’s bay and Wairarapa regions. This will be situated in the Pandora area and will allow us to revive the ancient navigating and sailing arts and skills, once the double-hulled Te Matau A Maui returns from its Pacific voyage around 2013.

The Centre will act as host to local regional, national and international business and cultural conferences and festivals, and parade the best our region has to offer. We will be showcasing our region with the eye on the enterprise and entrepreneurship especially of rangatahi and the younger generation.

Strength Through Unity

Geraldine Travers, Principal, Hastings Girls’ High School

My vision is of a well-educated population who are healthy in every sense and acknowledge that the province of Hawke’s Bay is where they belong, rather than being residents of this town or the other.

If we truly wish to move forward as a province or a brand, then our strength is through unity. Singly the two cities are not much more important than New Plymouth or Wanganui, but our combined strength turns us into a major metropolitan area worthy of hosting events and able to provide first rate facilities to our citizens.

There is a real risk that a province such as ours could be a refuge for only the young and the old, while the people in the middle who are the real worker ants of the economy, earn their living in more dynamic places. Let us learn to have pride in the achievements of all and encourage each other to achieve, so that the rest of the world does not regard us as a sleepy backwater.

Reduce Maori Youth Unemployment

Alawyne Watene, Chief Executive, Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga

It is a tragedy that in Hawke’s Bay over 50% of Mãori youth are unemployed.

This is not good for Hawke’s Bay’s future. We need to act purposefully together to reduce this figure by at least 40% by 2015.

Economy Predicated on Innovation

Hamish White, CEO, Airnet

It’s about creating a dynamic community and economic environment that will provide our children with as great a career opportunity as any metropolitan centre could offer.

To build an economy that is less dependent on domestic tourism and primary industry, but rather one that is predicated on innovation in the areas of food, beverage and technology. These are infinitely scalable and could bring enormous wealth to the region.

There’s no good reason why Hawke’s Bay is not home to some service sector giants, including banking, insurance and telecommunications.

Telling the Hawke’s Bay Story

Hamish Whyte, Managing Director, Furnware

The best companies in the world usually have a story to tell. This enables them to stand alone, and gives them a place to own and defend in their respective markets.

I believe Hawke’s Bay must improve on telling the world what an amazing place we live in.

We started off with the “Hawke’s Bay Wine Country” rebranding some dozen years ago and the community had a focal point to collaborate around. It was a success to have Hawke’s Bay united under one banner.

Marketing is all about getting your product or service into a position that can be defended; so all investment into creating that position is worthwhile and drives greater results. Most of us believe we live in a region that is the best place in NZ … and potentially the world. So let’s get our story right, using our abundance of fantastic real stories and real experiences.

And let’s share our story on a new global platform. We should increase our investments from all councils and the private sector, supporting a powerful entity that sticks to the plan and backs the region, not the cities.

Some cities promote themselves with large signs on hills; some tout their beaches or rivers. We have an opportunity way beyond these communities. Hawke’s Bay is an energetic but livable region with diverse lifestyle experiences … capable of offering a strong appeal to a world that is getting more hectic by the day.

The destination

Martin Williams, Planning Lawyer and Community Advocate

My vision? Hawke’s Bay as the destination, the place to be. Neither Napier nor Hastings are on the road to anywhere else in particular, except perhaps each other. And both are a long way from other major centres. Yet the region’s geography can be as much an attraction as deterrent.

Amalgamate? I am not so sure. Each city is indeed a twin match for the other, separated by three rivers, part of Hawke’s Bay’s unique overall identify – adding diversity and resilience; brand even.

Instead, a stock take. What will keep our young earners here, or make them return? What have we got? What is missing? Where does it need to go? When? What are the priorities, and who will fund the investment?

This is what I think is missing, planning. And I do not mean resource management style planning – a series of rules about what you can and cannot do. I mean real planning, some call it spatial planning. Planning about how we develop and connect the necessary resources around which our communities can thrive.

These resources include the EIT, the Port, our road and transport networks, our areas of production – orchards, farms, wineries, industry. Our retail centres and destinations. The hospital. Places where people live and more will want to. Water.

This will require collaboration between public and private, and across cultures as well as region. Common sense must prevail over ideology. A self-sustaining Hawke’s Bay may then result. The destination. A place people will come to stay.

Coming Home from Perth

Lawrence Yule, Mayor, Hastings

2012 begins with hope and optimism, although I expect the economic conditions in the world to be particularly challenging. I am excited about new developments at the Regional Sports Park, the visitor centre at Te Mata park and the new Splash Pad in Flaxmere, which will be advanced during 2012.

However my main priority is to get the regional study on prosperity completed. It should not be just another door jamming document; rather an honest, crisp analysis of where we find ourselves and what we can do to improve the situation. We need to fundamentally lift our game and sights if we are going to keep our young and families.

A month ago on a flight from Auckland, I sat next to a hard working family man who had to work in the mines in Australia just to keep food on his table at home. He was on his way home from Perth. There were five people on our flight doing the same thing. Sobering isn’t it!!

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