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Word from our Mayor Kirsten Wise

Published: 22 May 2024

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise

I was recently asked to help open an environmental symposium at the National Aquarium. The theme was envisioning 2050 and I spoke about Napier 25 years from now and what it might be like. Thinking about the future is an important part of our work at Council. Every decision we make needs to take into account what our population needs now and what future generations will need. We must think about how we manage money and resources to ensure there’s enough for the future. When we build, we need to think about the effect it’ll have on future generations. When we decide not to do something we need to consider the effects that will have too.

Looking into the future is often helped by looking back to the past. Napier commemorates a major milestone this year, 150 years since it became a borough. And as much as there will be some celebrations, there will also be opportunities to think about where we have come from and how we can relate that to where we are heading.

Napier has always been a place of manaakitanga and hospitality. We certainly know how to throw a great event! Vibrancy, innovation and enterprise are woven into our rich tapestry. We’ve always had an interconnected relationship with the environment: it defines us, supports us and, at times, challenges us.

We’ve always been a place of driven go-getters and change makers who believe in Napier and want it to thrive.

And, we’ve been a destination for people who make Napier home because they want to be part of something special.

In our future, I imagine that what has always been part of Napier will continue to be central to our identity.

Creating community hubs that people can activate, or where they can connect, will always be an important part of who we are.

Having greenspaces that people can use for recreation but are also integral to things like our stormwater network will remain a vital part of our make-up.
Supporting people to live a life that is healthy, connected and sustainable in a place that’s safe and accessible, will always be essential.

Being a desirable location for people who want easy living, in a beautiful place, with direct access to the Great Outdoors, who are entrepreneurial, who enjoy good times, who want to raise their families in a healthy environment, that’s all going to matter as much in the future as it does now.

This month we will hear from many of those in our community who made submissions in the Three-Year Plan process. Part of this will be hearing their visions for the future, how together they would like us to grow and consolidate, what decisions they would like made for their future, and for the future of their children and grandchildren whether it’s 25 years from today, 50 or even 150.

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