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Mayor's Foreword - Kupu Whakataki

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket, we will sustain everyone

Kia ora koutou
This is a Long Term Plan with your wellbeing and Nelson's future at its heart.

We live in an extraordinary location, a Smart Little City that celebrates the contributions of a resilient, creative, and diverse community. However, the last few years have brought a range of challenges that have tested our mental and physical health; cyclones, forest fires, and COVID-19. Each has impacted Nelson's social, economic, cultural, and environmental wellbeing and changed the lives of many.

That is why wellbeing is our focus for the next ten years. Our community’s wellbeing is a factor that runs through all the plans detailed in the pages ahead.

Our Long Term Plan sets out a vision for our City and where we want to be in 10 years. We have listened to the feedback you have given us through previous Annual Plans, Long Term Plan pre-engagement, submissions and hearings, and have included the things you have told us are important to you in this Plan. However, we also need to consider rates affordability and debt levels, so some of the things you have asked for have not been possible to include or are occurring in later years.

The consistent messages we have heard include; providing support to alleviate the housing crisis, taking proactive action on climate change, providing improved facilities, and continuing our work to ensure our core infrastructure is resilient and meets growing demand. You asked us to revitalise our City Centre, care for our environment and encourage employment in our region in the wake of COVID-19.

Our decision-making concluded with strong support for our vision - Nelson - A Smart Little City - He Tāone Tōrire a Whakatū. The priorities and projects to help deliver that vision are set out in this Long Term Plan.

This Long Term Plan highlights Council’s commitment to building effective, lasting, and genuine partnerships with all eight Te Tau Ihu iwi at both operational and governance levels. It’s important that we continue on this journey to achieve a partnership of strength that will benefit our entire community.

We want to be a good partner to the many organisations we work alongside and support. The award-winning efforts of Project Kōkiri, the region’s collaborative economic and social response that is navigating the impacts of COVID-19, deserve special mention. The word Kōkiri means to move forward together, and that is what we are doing in a well organised and agile way across Nelson Tasman.

And what better way to support that recovery than the creation of a new Science and Technology Precinct that has the potential to house 1000 ‘knowledge workers’ in close proximity to our City Centre. Council has provided $5.5 million of financial support to help the Cawthron Institute and Port Nelson get this joint project underway.

The Precinct will support the work we have underway to improve the City to Sea connection and contribute to economic development opportunities. The involvement of Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, with its 100 years’ of experience delivering world-class science, will blaze a trail for a range of national and international tenants.

In our work we are guided by the concept of Tūpuna Pono (being good ancestors) and have tomorrow in mind when we decide how to act today. That philosophy is at the heart of our work and is particularly relevant when we consider our climate change response.

After declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019, we are at a point where Council's climate change response is embedded into all of Council's decisions. Climate change considerations are a critical part of our decision-making process from the word 'go'.

This also means supporting our community through targeted funding of groups like the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum and Businesses for Climate Action to help local businesses, and the community, make the changes necessary to achieve these goals.

Tackling invasive pest plants on our reserves is another focus, with $11.5 million allocated over ten years. This combines with our plans to plant more trees along the Maitai River as part of the Jobs for Nature programme, allowing forest regeneration to occur and improving our ability to store carbon.

A new library for Nelson will be the centrepiece of a revitalised riverside, expanding the reach of our City Centre and connecting the City to the Sea. Our community will benefit immensely from a climate-resilient building that will hold more public events, showcase our substantial collection, and increase the ways people can expand their horizons. 

We are also continuing the momentum by renewing and upgrading our core infrastructure. Major infrastructure investments include upgrading the Awatea Place wastewater pump station, the final stage of the Saxton Creek flood protection project and the Atawhai Rising Main wastewater upgrade. Adjusting our infrastructure programme to bring forward renewals will help create well-paid jobs while also improving our resilience to the heavy rain events we are likely to see more of due to climate change. There is $496 million invested in transport and utility projects over the life of the Plan, a top priority at 73% of Council's total capital expenditure.

This Long Term Plan sets out a busy but deliverable programme focussed on our priorities. But ultimately, at the heart of all these projects are our people. A great city is made by great people, and Nelson has those by the bucketload. By focussing on our wellbeing, I am confident of a bright future for Nelson Whakatū.

Ngā mihi nui
Rachel Reese
Mayor of Nelson: Te Koromatua o Whakatū