FAVOURITE SPOT: The NRDA’s Debbie Armatage and her dog, Liquorice, at the place they love most in Nelson – Tahunanui’s Back Beach. Photo: Kate Russell.

Why do you love Nelson?

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It’s a fine Sunday winters afternoon, and Tahunanui’s Back Beach is jam-packed with dogs and their owners – and for local woman Debbie Armatage, this what she loves best about living in the Nelson Tasman region.

Now, Debbie, who is also the communications and partnerships manager at the Nelson Regional Development Agency, wants to find out what other people love about living here, in order for them to develop a ‘Regional Identity’.

Debbie says the idea was mooted four years ago, but didn’t get off the ground until recently, due to the merger of Nelson Tasman Tourism and the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency last July.

“Basically, we want to promote the region to anyone wanting to live and work, visit, invest and study here – and to do this, we need to identify the region’s identity – without an identity, we don’t know what to promote,” she says.

Over the last three months the agency has been meeting with local groups and individuals, asking them what makes Nelson such a special place to live.

They are now in the “community engagement” phase and are asking locals to let them know what is special about the region.

Debbie says they have already taken to the streets to get people’s thoughts, but are also asking people to join in online, via their website and social media channels.

“We want to give people the chance to voice what they love about the region – it might be a favourite spot you love to unwind, it might be about the people or the local produce, those beautiful sunsets or that warm community feeling. Whatever it is, we want to know.”

To have your say, you can fill out the feedback form at www.nel sonnz.com or share your favourite picture of the region using the hashtag #ILoveNelsonTasman on Instagram.