From the Mayor

winston primary

Well another year has passed, much has been done and there is still plenty of work to do. Nothing demonstrates this quite a well as the work being done towards the future of Kaikōura’s pool. In June this year, Council delayed making a decision about the pool until December. Now December is here and the pool will be the main focus of discussion at today’s Council meeting.  Regardless of any decisions made today, getting to this point has taken nearly two years of hard work and I’d like to thank all those involved for their dedication, passion and drive. The Sport and Recreation Recovery Leadership Team’s work developing feasibility studies and community consultation has been invaluable. Thanks also to the dozens of other members of the community who have shared insight and knowledge with Councillors and Council staff.

Community consultation has made it clear what our ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ are. As always, the challenge is balancing what we want with what ratepayers can afford. Pools nationwide are expensive to build and do not make money once open. With only 1,800 properties across the district, regardless of the option chosen, ratepayers will be asked to foot the bill both now and for years and years to come. I hope that today we take the next step together towards an affordable, fit-for-future pool.

A quick look back at some of the highlights of this year shows the speed and scale of the work happening across our district. The new 120 bed Sudima hotel development is looking set to start building work early in the new year. It’s exciting to see the Paper Plus shop and Pharmacy being rebuilt in town. The shopping Pop-Up-Mall is now well completed has already made a huge difference to West End.  We’ve begun making progress on the management of our roading network too with parking along the main street being improved, some of the routes that have been being used by NCTIR being remediated and a comprehensive update expected from Downer (our roading contractor) in the new year.   

Work should also be complete this week on our three new Responsible Camping sites. The sites are; one close to Kēkerengū, one on Scarborough Street and one just south of South Bay.  Chosen by the Responsible Camping Working Group and endorsed by Council, I hope that the promotion of these sites helps ease the pressure on Kiwa Road. I also hope that the combination of signs, education material, radio and online advertising help encourage more of our visitors to respect and protect our natural environment. Find out more about the sites through our website.

NCTIR’s work on SH1 continue on although much of the stop-start works will ease off over Christmas as the workers take a much needed rest. We’re told NCTIR will be working in Kaikōura until at least the end of 2019 and I look forward to seeing how their remaining parking, safety and rest area works shape up. If the recent work at Ohau Point is anything to go by these works should be something special.

Visitor numbers are up and I’d like to again recognise the efforts of all our hospitality and tourism businesses and support partners to bring people back into Kaikōura. The I-site, Destination Kaikōura, KITI members and many of our businesses invest heavily in marketing and I know many will be breathing a little easier with forward bookings continuing to look strong.  

I wish each and every one of you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and hope you do get time to take a break.

Meri kirihimete,

Winston.

Monday 17 December

 

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Updated 6 December 2018