Christmas thoughts from the top
It is hard to believe we are 13 months on from the quake. We are so lucky that SH1 is open prior to Christmas thanks to a lot of hard work and planning by many. Having the road open recently has been a remarkable milestone and so timely - imagine if it was April next year!
To see the town come to life has been a great morale boost. Tourism operators say bookings are lifting - our next challenge is coping with the summer visitors - but it's a good problem to have.
My role this year has been very much about working with officials and Ministers to make the case for Kaikoura. The Crown have done a lot to support us and we must continue to engage with them to capture every opportunity to grow our economic base and make the District a better place to live and work for everyone.
Our energy this year has been identifying and prioritising the fix up projects. This takes time as there are many issues to work through. In 2018 we'll be progressing the implementation of Reimagine Kaikoura. The Government's regional economical development package presents a timely opportunity for us to identify and advocate for cornerstone projects from the plan that will fire our economy.
Thank you to all Kaikōura residents, old and new for your hard work and for hanging in through the tough times.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Winston
2017 has been a pretty full on role for me as Deputy Mayor. Dealing with issues such as natural hazards, the rebuild and generally making sure the we are ensuring KDC can cope financially and get our District's infrastructure rebuilt . We have provided a great service in social recovery with our dedicated team helping our residents that are struggling emotionally and providing assistance with insurance claims etc.
One of my roles within Council is as Chair of Destination Kaikoura, our main tourism agency. This year we've also had to take a different turn, ensuring we have marketed proactively both domestically and internationally to manage the impact of road closures and quake damage on tourists visiting our beautiful District. I'm very pleased to say that reports out there indicated some business in November were reaching 70-80% of 2015/16 year.
I look forward to 2018 and the challenges it will bring and to seeing the rebuild gain pace early in the New Year.
One of my other aspirations within Council is to help build a strong relationships with the community and stakeholders so that together we can drive projects that will enhance Kaikōura and provide facilities for our community to work, live and play in. The Three Year Plan development and other communications work next year should see positive developments in this space.
Wishing you all a Merry and safe Christmas and prosperous 2018 to come, Julie
From the Councillors:
Councillors have had a busy year working through a huge number of reports and plans for the rebuild of our Districts' assets. The quality and quantity of these reports and plans prepared by the Council staff have been outstanding, which is reflected in the high success rate of funding applications to central government.
This funding will enable our community to recover and grow.
I look forward to seeing the asset repairs accelerating next year and our community continuing to move forward.
I wish you all a restful Christmas and a prosperous 2018, Tony
As a newly elected Councillor I have had to learn the ropes very quickly this year. While it has been an immense challenge post-earthquake for all, we have the opportunity to come out the other side of this not only a stronger united community but a place that has a great story of success to tell. I'd like to say a huge thank you to the whole community for being a part of that story.
Making the Earthquake Recovery meetings as informative as possible for those of us on the committee takes a lot of work behind the scenes. Thank you to all who work tirelessly to produce the thorough reports and plans needed to make well informed decisions - especially when funding applications are being put together! your work makes our time around the table that much easier.
As the Council appointed rep on the Kaikōura Community Op Shop Trust I can honestly say the team of volunteers who run the day to day operations have done such an amazing job this year. They have proven that by giving a bit of their time and working toward a goal can prove to be very rewarding not just for them but for the recipients of the funds raised. Be sure to thank the team of volunteers next time you pay a visit to the Op Shop.
As a Board Member for Destination Kaikoura, the support from our industry colleagues this year has been overwhelming, it has shown just how special Kaikōura is. Moving into next year we will continue to work hard at seeing Kaikōura visitor’s numbers grow both on a domestic and international platform. We have a great story to tell and will be proudly sharing that all we come in contact with.
Wishing everyone in the community a happy and restful Christmas, Lisa
Less than 2 months out from the 2016 elections and without warning (or even time for an induction), every member of Council was suddenly faced with perhaps what could be regarded as the ultimate challenge for Kaikōura’s local government. How do we best support our community to cope with the impact of the 7.8 Nov 14 Kaikōura earthquake.
Over the past 12 months we all have been “hands on”. Dealing with the ongoing post-disaster difficulties. Managing change in our natural environment, repairing damaged infrastructure, supporting the vulnerable members of our community, dealing with economic loss, homelessness , insurance settlements, and sadly the grief of loosing loved ones at short notice.
The extraordinary reality of all this is that it led to a collective contribution to community responsivenesss and resilience. Whether it is as individuals, families, community groups or businesses, I know you all have worked endlessly to support one another and have stayed committed in your own ways to rebuilding this community to become stronger than ever. I truly believe, we can do it.
This year my focus has been on supporting my community by advocating for strong presence of community perspective within council forums & council decision making processes, reviewing options that will ensure our community is well served with balanced representation and working hard to close the gap between community and council. I've also been part of networking with other communities, external organisations and central government to help bring support to Kaikōura through community events, welfare support, adequate resources, and temporary housing.
Some key community projects and events that have helped keep us connected, and inspired community wellness this year are:
- Kia marama/Awaken Kaikōura - Waitangi Day Community Event 2017 – Supporting Kaikōura with over 450 in attendance
- Kaikōura Whakawhānaungatanga – Supporting whānau and indivduals to share their stories, their concerns and be informed on community issues & to celebrate their survival and sucess.
- Winter Warmer & Find and Fix Project – Organising temporary fix solutions, housewarm & weathertight initiatives, advocacy for insurance support and financial hardship relief. Connecting with over 150 residents.
Next year there are many areas I'd like to focus including supporting our community with housing, natural hazard and economic issues.
Finally, to the people of Kaikōura I thank you, with deep sincerity and wish you all joy for the Christmas that comes and courage and hope for the new year that comes, Celeste
This has been a momentous year for our Council and our Community. We have made great progress on a number of areas:
• Publishing the Reimagine Kaikōura Recovery Plan
• Supporting community post the earthquake
• Securing Crown financial assistance
• Securing grants to support local businesses
• Infrastructure Rebuild with concept designs for the aeration lagoon, sewer mains and bridges underway
• Informing and engaging with our community on areas where the land has been damaged and where there is life risk to residents
• Completing the harbour restoration
Next year promises to be an even busier year as we commence the infrastructure rebuild in earnest, we will continue to work with governmental agencies on land damaged with natural hazards to identify potential solutions. We will be publishing a Three Year plan and we expect to see our residents commence their personal rebuilds and repairs.
I am thankful for the ongoing support from our various partners and governmental agencies and it is comforting that they are still walking alongside us as we transition from Recovery back to our New Normal.
I thank the community for their patience and want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family everything of the best for this festive season and for 2018!
I remain positive that we will many opportunities materialise in 2018/2019 that will lead to positive developments for our community, our local businesses and tourism providers.
It is exciting that we are seeing cruise ships back to visit. We look forward to a rebounding of our tourism.