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Stronger leadership to advance Hastings, Damon Harvey running for Mayor

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

It’s time for stronger leadership to advance Hastings as one of the best places for families to live, work and play in New Zealand.

Damon Harvey, a Hawke’s Bay business owner and Hastings District Councillor representing Hastings and Havelock North, has announced he is running for mayor to advance Hastings as a thriving city and district.

"I am action orientated, I don’t want a sit on the fence approach, when the community wants strong leadership. As Hastings mayor I will bring a modern ‘can do’ approach to council.

"We have wasted over $1 million of ratepayer money by not being decisive on a range of issues such as the Te Mata Track and Cape Kidnappers. It took us years to approve the building of a sea wall to protect Clifton Beach, but by then the damage had already been done.

"For Hastings’ success and future prosperity we need more action now. I believe I am the leader to deliver that," Mr Harvey said.

Hastings born and bred, Mr Harvey was the highest polling new councillor in the 2016 Hastings District Council elections and has been responsible for economic development and the city’s central business district revitalisation.

"With a growing family of five ranging from school age to teenagers and young adults, including four living at home, I offer leadership that’s more relevant to a larger proportion of our community.

"I want to ensure Hastings is the engine room for business and a great place to live for families."

"Yes, we have real challenges, but we also have huge and exciting opportunities. I’m saying let’s go for it and advance Hastings in a far more positive and proactive direction."

As mayor his priorities will include a focus on the four wellbeing’s - social, economic, environment and cultural, modernising council so that those working within it are energised and have a can do attitude in serving our people, and ensuring our streets and suburbs are safe.

"Hastings needs to offer great jobs, career pathways for youth, affordable housing for all, a thriving CBD, enabling business and commercial development, with a range of facilities to enjoy along with a safe place to bring up families and look after our older residents."

Flaxmere and Havelock North both need greater focus.

"Flaxmere needs special and urgent attention. I lived in Flaxmere as a child and I want it to be what my parents dreamed it to be - a safe place to bring up a family. It hasn’t been shown much love by council over the years and it’s time it did.

"We need to create opportunities for Flaxmere’s young population to prosper."

Mr Harvey will also revive efforts for a new school in Havelock North and is keen to reduce growing pains within the Havelock North CBD.

"Havelock North wasn’t designed for a population nearing 20,000, so we need to look at relieving some of the congestion that occurs in the CBD.

"New residential developments in Brookvale and Iona will see over 600 new houses built in the next 5-10 years and as a parent of a child at Havelock North Primary School, I know the pressures of huge growth in school rolls.

"It is time to make some major changes at council to take advantage of the current positive economic climate.

"While we have had an economic resurgence, I don’t believe council has had the foresight to make the most of the opportunity for everyone in our community.

"We are only just waking up and if we are to maximise these opportunities for Hastings we must take more action in a positive direction now.

As well as a Hastings District Councillor, Mr Harvey is the chairman of Sport Hawke’s Bay and co-chair of the Jarrod Cunningham Youth Sport Trust. He is married to Anna and their family lives in Hastings.

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