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Tena Koutou Katoa

November 11, 2019 November 2019 No Comments

I want to take the opportunity to sincerely thank the Martinborough and South Wairarapa Communities for the support you have shown me during my time as Mayor. It has been a privilege to represent you. I am sad that my role in Local Government has now ended, I have always strongly advocated for South Wairarapa locally, regionally and nationally, 

Our district has changed substantially over the years. We have bucked the trend of small rural areas and we are a vibrant, attractive, and flourishing district with an influx of new residents, businesses and visitors.

I am proud that the councils I have been part of have confronted the tough issues of provision of infrastructure that will not only allow for our  growing communities but help protect our environment, renovating and refurbishing our old civic centres, sealing gravel roads at approx. 1.5 kms a year for the last 30 years, providing facilities for the ever increasing numbers of tourists who are visiting and providing funds for local initiatives and organisations through grants. We have allowed communities and groups to take their ideas and bring them to fruition, often not without controversy and very emotive debate. We have a very strong financial base due to prudent financial management.   

Collaboration between the three Wairarapa councils and GWRC is now a matter of course. and the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy is making huge progress. 

Council staff often get a hammering, from my experience the staff are dedicated and committed to serving their community in the best way they can. The regulatory side of council will always have people who are not happy, the professionalism of the CE and council staff to deal with these people is what counts.

On a personal note I am extremely proud that I was involved with developing the Wairarapa Combined District Plan, the various initiatives that have enabled tourism to thrive and make our district so attractive to local and international visitors. E.G. Dark Sky Reserve, Greytown Most Beautiful Small Town and Booktown and upgrading coastal reserve facilities. Resolving to take wastewater discharges out of the waterways was a huge step to improving our environment.  

The job of Mayor is 24/7/365. It is challenging, sometimes heart-breaking, time consuming, very public, exciting, but extremely rewarding 95% of the time

I won’t miss people who blast Council (especially those brave keyboard warriors) without being fully informed; being out every night for five or six in a row attending meetings: having people share their thoughts on council’s failings to my family members but never to me; and the endless emails.

I am especially going to miss the amazing relationships with individuals and community groups, 

I wish the incoming Mayor, Council, Community Boards and the Maori Standing Committee all the best. 

Finally I want to sincerely thank and acknowledge my long-suffering family; Martin has been so supportive, loving and caring and my kids and grandkids have often missed out on me being able to front up to important events in their lives. I have made wonderful friends and I cherish all those relationships. It has been a pleasure serving my community.

Nga mihi nui

Viv Napier

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