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LTP 2018-28 Foreword

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Nelson is the Smart Little City. It is a vibrant place - where we are deeply connected with, and committed to, our natural, social and cultural environment. Clever business and innovation help us thrive. We enjoy living fulfilled lives in smart, sustainable communities.

This is our vision for our city and guides us as we piece together the Long Term Plan 2018-2028. This vision helps us shape our decision making as we keep the key question in our minds - where do we, as a city, want to be in 10 years’ time?

Nelson is the best little city in New Zealand, and we want to keep it that way. Our size has so many benefits and allows us to connect with nature and each other in deeply meaningful ways. We need to be smart in our decision making, so we carefully shape and craft our resources to address the challenges we have ahead.

As we look forward 10 years we see a period of great change, challenge and opportunity. The demographics of our country are undergoing a major transition, climate change is altering our weather patterns, funding is increasingly under pressure and the needs and expectations of our communities are changing.

Councils are facing a bow wave of infrastructure renewals that will need investment well above what is possible under the current local government funding model.

These challenges require us to be smart in our thinking. We need to be focused on making the right decisions about where and when we use our resources.

Nelson City Council is proposing four focus priorities for this 10-year plan: infrastructure, environment, central business district (CBD) development and lifting Council performance. These priorities build on the work we started three years ago. And balances the focus on key assets that enable the growth and development of our city, with a need to keep Nelson humming through new projects that support our creative culture, our environment and our community wellbeing.

The message I gave you three years ago about the need for significant investment in our core infrastructure remains unchanged. We have made good progress in that time through projects such as the investment in the treatment plant that supplies our drinking water, the extra funding for footpaths, the upgrading of one of our major wastewater pump stations and building our resilience with the completion of the Maitai duplicate pipeline. But much work remains to be done and Council believes we cannot afford to reduce momentum in this area.

The story is the same for Council’s environmental work. We oversaw a significant step change four years ago with increased funding for projects that enhance our city’s major waterway, the Maitai River, and improving biodiversity in a number of key ecosystems. We will continue those efforts battling invasive pest species, working to improve freshwater quality and managing the impacts of climate change as the need for action is as urgent as ever. Increased investment in this area is a feature of the 10-year work programme.

Council’s third priority is a healthy, vibrant and thriving CBD; one that supports our retail and other businesses while attracting visitors and residents alike. As the main urban centre for the top of the South Island, Nelson city has a special role to play in the economic life of the region. Continued investment is necessary to maintain the fabric and distinctive identity of our city.

Lifting Council performance is our fourth priority and is one that enables us to achieve success in all our other priorities. Nelson deserves a Council that is strategic, demonstrates best practice, has excellent systems and communicates and engages effectively to help it achieve even greater levels of success for our community.

This year more than ever we need your input. Council will be directing significant funding towards these four priorities. Do you agree these are the four most important areas to invest in to secure Nelson’s future? Please take the time to give us your views.

Council will continue with our partnership approach. In particular, we plan to deepen and extend our special partnership with iwi and ensure those relationships are strengthened over the life of the Long Term Plan. We also recognise that alone we cannot affordably deliver all the services and facilities residents want so we need to partner with community groups, business, central government and neighbouring councils to make funding go further.

The new government has indicated it wants to work with councils, supporting economic development of the regions and building successful communities. This is a hopeful sign and you can be sure we will be working hard on your behalf, engaging with the government to take advantage of the support offered in all areas possible.

One critical area where we will be working closely with the government and the New Zealand Transport Agency is to ensure we have a transport network that supports Nelson as a liveable city and helps our region and its economy to thrive.

Our city to sea linkage is critical for walking and cycling both for commuting and recreation. Our waterfront has untapped potential as a world-class visitor destination. Our thriving regional economy also needs a safe, efficient and resilient corridor for freight to reach our Port. It is essential that progress is made on the Rocks Road Walking and Cycling project and the Nelson Southern Link Investigation. For this reason, the Council has advocated for funding for both projects to advance as soon as possible.

Council has also allocated funding for new community projects that will support wellbeing and continue to bring us together as a community. We are looking forward to the collaborative development with the Stoke community of a new youth facility and to engaging closely with users about the much-anticipated upgrade of the Elma Turner Library. Other projects that will contribute to the city’s vibrancy include new funding for community events, expansion of mountain biking facilities, and a new water sports centre at the marina.

This Long Term Plan has been designed to maintain our momentum in tackling the key issues facing our Smart Little City. It will deliver the bright future that Nelson deserves. A liveable city, with reliable infrastructure, a flourishing community life and a wonderful natural environment.

Although there are challenges ahead, I know that Nelson will approach our future with an enthusiasm and a confidence in our ability to meet those challenges with smart, inspired solutions.

Rachel Reese
MAYOR OF NELSON