Mayoral column Feb 2022
I hope everyone had an opportunity to take a little bit of a break over the Christmas and New Year period and enjoy some of the beautiful spots we have around the rohe. I certainly appreciated an opportunity to enjoy some of the fruits of my garden and do a lot of work around the house.
We have started this year on a really positive note. The skatepark is almost always packed when I go past, and it is so great to see so many young people (and some older ones!) making the most of it. There is still more work to be done to add a few features like water fountain and seating area, trees and landscaping. We are really fortunate to have such a great facility, let’s keep it that way and look after it as well as we can. From a safety point of view, we’ll hopefully have a few helmets available to look after young heads as well! Council will share more on that shortly.
On the topic of places and spaces we are fortunate to have, don’t forget to pop into the beautiful new Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi if you haven’t already. The stunning building and wonderful staff have already attracted hundreds more people through the doors and I understand that dozens have signed up to their library cards for the first time as well. What a taonga for our community.
Of course, like everyone, I really miss the summer events from the i-SITE team and covid has been responsible for a lot of other disruptions as well. Our vaccination rates have jumped ahead in leaps and bounds which is great to see. I think we have a little more disruption yet before we can start getting back to our new normal. Let’s get through it together in Ōpōtiki’s community style.
Also just a reminder that we are very proud to be part of the national Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs which is all about getting local rangatahi into employment and training. There really is no better investment than a motivated apprentice or employee – they bring so many benefits to the workplace as well as their own lives. Subsidy schemes are available for workplaces that pick up a young apprentice or employee. So if you are keen to be that employee or that lucky workplace, please find out more through the council’s “Workforce Matters” web page or get in touch.