2017 holds an exciting opportunity for Hastings and Tukituki to move forward with new and greater leadership.
It is time to put the people who live and work here first and foremost. To do this we need to grab this opportunity for real change and make it happen.
First we need a mayor who is 100 percent committed to the job.
Regardless of Lawrence Yule getting the National Party nod, he has told us that he doesn’t want to be the Mayor of Hastings. He’s checked out.
We need a new mayor now, who can be elected as early as possible to serve and lead the people of Hastings. We can have every confidence that our deputy mayor Sandra Hazlehurst will steer the ship through the water crisis in the meantime.
While I have nothing personally against Lawrence Yule wanting to become an MP. I am disappointed that he has walked away from Hastings in a year when it needs its mayor the most.
Regardless of National’s political circumstances changing in Tukituki, the challenges facing Hastings today are the same as they were when he took the job and they will be the same when he’s gone.
Hastings residents should not have to wait, simply to serve Lawrence’s own ambitions and a selection process set down by a political Party. That is not what the people of Hastings signed up to when they elected him mayor.
Using excuses for delaying his resignation, around protecting our water don’t wash.
He should be a better man than this and do what’s right for Hastings now.
The $200,000 cost of Lawrence’s personal decision with possibility of now two by-elections falls on ratepayers. We can’t change this, so what we must do is make sure, that it is money well spent. We need to look at it as an investment in our future – with the opportunity to elect a new mayor.
In the end, if people want to make Lawrence pay the ultimate price for costing them $200,000, for not being a man of his word they can have the last word on him – at the ballot box.
I’m working hard for the people of Hastings and Tukituki because I believe I can make a great impact serving as a local MP. I see 2017 as a chance to make a real difference – to grow and create huge opportunities for more and more people.
I love being part of this great region and we have so much going for us. But we have real challenges and more must be done to invest our region.
Everyone benefits when more people do well and can support and provide for their families to grow up safe, well and happy in this wonderful place we call home.
Critical to our future success is getting more people to come and live, work and invest here. Population will power up our region with investment in business and jobs – this is how we can capture far more benefit to enable our local economy to thrive with far greater productivity and opportunity for all people, from all walks of life.
We have a rich and culturally diverse city and we must do more to keep supporting and growing our local communities.
To achieve this we must have better infrastructure and investment.
Hastings has always been the powerhouse of our growing regional economy – we are the driving force, on the back of our thriving primary sector.
Along with opening our doors to business and attracting people to the region for work, to achieve population growth we also need more houses, and sections to build them on – so people can move here and great schools.
We must get our young people onto their full drivers licences so they can get on the road to independence and work. This is a $20 million social and economic challenge facing our region.
We are growing more full time jobs, but we must do more to upskill our local workforce, so they can get better paying, permanent work, and into warm, safe and affordable housing.
We must have more police to fight the shocking high crime in Hastings, because public safety in our streets and in our homes is a priority.
And most of all we must protect our water, the lifeblood of our region and our economy. This starts with making sure the people of Havelock North have a secure drinking water supply.
We must support ways to provide for water storage – because our future is in producing higher value, GM Free food for premium world markets.
And we must stop giving our precious water away for free for water bottling companies to put in plastic bottles and sell for profit.
We can do all this, but not without real leadership, that is trusted, respected and can be counted on.
I’m giving my all to working as hard as I can to represent the good people of Hastings and Tukituki because it would be an absolute privilege to represent you as your a new local Member of Parliament.
Let’s make 2017 for the people – because after what Hastings and Havelock North have been through – you deserve it!