Tuku Korero - Councillor Larry Foster
It seems the secret of how special our region is, is well and truly out.
People are hearing and seeing more about us – it’s thanks to a lot of different things, including the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford spending time here, the New Zealand Surfing Nationals, the thousands of tourists, the Rocket Lab and our historical place in New Zealand’s history.
We've had a fantastic summer – from my home I can see the hills are green as they have ever been. Other places have had challenging weather but ours has been good with beautiful hot days and rain in the evening.
The Top 10 Holiday Park and other accommodation have been well utilised and the behaviour of most of the freedom campers has been phenomenal. I know at Kaiti Beach all 3 carparks have been chocka and I’ve seen no adverse effects like you hear from other areas.
Those at the surfing nationals loved it here – they were blown away by how friendly, convenient, accessible and easy it was to be here. So much so, they're considering running it here again next year.
The Surf Life Saving Nationals will be here in March and is a regular event hosted in the region.
I see all this as creating huge opportunities ahead for us, but we need to manage our growth. There is no need for us to become another Tauranga. We have the infrastructure to cater for another 5000 people.
We know there are things to work on, including our wastewater and making it sustainable for the future with a strong consideration of global warming. Eventually we will have wetlands and will be able to reuse the water for our valuable Poverty Bay Flats.
Roading is a big one for us and Council are working closely with NZTA and Government to correct that.
The Navigations Project is a big passion of mine – I campaigned heavily on that and we have a story that no one else can tell.
I am pleased to see everything is lining up there but the pressure is on for the 2019 commemorations. We have fantastic stories and things to showcase from across the region.
It makes me very proud to be part of this community.