Tēnā koutou e te whānau o Whakatū, me ngā manuhiri kua mauru mai
I hope you enjoy a relaxing Christmas Day and are looking forward to catching up with friends and whānau. We all deserve some time to rest and reconnect after Covid-19 delivered a year we will never forget.
I want to extend a huge thank you to all of you who are working over the traditional holiday break, your mahi to keep the region running is very much appreciated. And for those of us who are still separated from family overseas – we’ll get through this!
There is no question it has been a challenging year with significant financial burdens placed on many, but there is no doubt we have also seen the best of us – true grit, resilience and community spirit.
From medical staff who protected our health, Council staff and contractors who kept our city running, to supermarket staff who kept us fed, and every person who looked out for the vulnerable – this community-wide effort showed what we achieve when we work together.
That spirit continues as we rebuild our economy. Economic forecasts were grim, but the data now is more promising. That’s testament not just to the way New Zealand dealt with Covid-19, but the dedication and ingenuity of those that took the opportunity to adapt and thrive under the new normal, particularly our business community.
We learned to do things differently and celebrated Matariki and the Virtual Heritage Festival online. Our collaborative recovery-focused Project Kōkiri is well underway, bringing in Government investment, business innovation and employment.
As spring arrived we launched our ‘We’ve Got This!’ campaign and again welcomed visitors to our region as Kiwis discovered new places and regulars returned.
In November, Nelson Tasman turned out to watch the Black Ferns play at Trafalgar Park, and it was an honour to present the Key to the City to these women World Champions.
Then Tasman Mako did us proud securing back-to-back victories in the Mitre 10 Cup – #FinzUp!
Now summer’s here, preparations for the Bay Dreams music festival on January 5 are almost complete and accommodation is filling up as Kiwis arrive for a dose of Nelson goodness – sun, sea, fresh fish, fruit, wine, craft beer, arts and artisans, outdoor adventure, or just a lazy day in the hammock.
Looking ahead, the transfer of community housing to Kāinga Ora will generate a $12m fund that will allow us to assist with new social and affordable housing projects over the coming years.
The need for safe, warm, affordable homes is critical to our wellbeing, and this fund represents an opportunity to make a real difference.
Consideration of others is the secret to New Zealand’s continued Covid-19 success; it’s a trait I believe we should hold fast over the year to come.
On behalf of everyone at Nelson City Council, I wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year.
Ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou katoa