It’s been another hectic year for Nelsonians. From world champions to earthquakes to a homeless man that seems to wind everyone up. Here’s a few snippets of the stories making headlines in Nelson this year:
LOCAL BODY ELECTIONS: Rachel Reese romped into her second term as Nelson’s mayor in October, collected 11,364 votes, against her major rival Pete Rainey’s 5,050. Four new councillors were also welcomed – Mike Rutledge, Mel Courtney, Stuart Walker and Bill Dahlberg.
THE LEWIS STANTON SAGA: The year’s continued drama over Lewis Stanton, aka, Hone Ma Heke came to a head in November when a when he was charged with assault after a “peaceful protest” on Trafalgar St. Protests against Stanton have been ongoing, with shops hanging their washing outside their shops in September, and two local ladies, Pat Craig and Margaret Bowler doing the same on Trafalgar St the following month.
SOUTHERN LINK: The controversial Southern link dominated headlines this year with those for and against the new road making their voices known. Nelsonians attended information sessions back in March as part of NZTA seeking public feedback. The consultation showed that Nelson did want the road. More recently, Nelson City Council has voted to send a ‘letter of approval’ to NZTA stating that they support its investigation.
KAIKOURA EARTHQUAKE: Although we came off relatively unscathed, Nelson still felt the effects of the November 14 earthquake, causing interruptions to NCEA exams, school and ECE centre closures and just a few broken wine bottles. Fire crews, and urban search and rescue squad and St John Ambulance staff from Nelson and Tasman were amongst the first responders to the quake devastated areas.
NELSON MINI IS WORLDS FASTEST: A team of eight predominantly Nelsonians reached a top speed of 166mph to break two world land speed records in Bonneville, Utah in August in their 52-year-old Mini Cooper S. Team member Mike Wilson says that, despite being a bunch of low-key kiwi blokes, the team were “ecstatic” when they set the new records.