LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD
to find out what's happening and when Here we are at the end of another year – amazing! Time certainly flies when you’re busy, and it sure has been a busy one for us at the council.
This year we have been looking at the way forward for us as an organisation, with the potential formation of a cultural precinct in Taupō. This could see the redevelopment of an important part of our town centre and give the whole area a new look, feel and function. The development around Story Place will be one of three considered by the community mid-next year when the council decides where its administration functions should be based. Watch this space – we want your feedback!
Another big project for us this year was the redevelopment of the Otumuheke Stream bathing area at Spa Thermal Park. It has been turned into an amazing useable space with infrastructure that will protect this taonga for years to come. I encourage you to check it out.
We had some great news on the events front this year, with Taupō winning its bid to host the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship. This will easily be the biggest event we have ever hosted, bringing an economic return of $20 million to the district – about two-thirds of the return the district’s events normally generate annually. It’ll also mean around 5000 competitors, 13,5000 supporters and media from around the world – we can’t wait! Although it seems far away, 2020 is just around the corner and there’s lots to do before then to ensure our district shines for this event.
I feel like we’ve done ourselves proud in many ways this year. We fought for the retention of Taupō’s rescue chopper and the Government listened – it remains in operation. Fantastic for the safety of our community and visitors. We also won the Keep New Zealand Beautiful large town award – and quite deserving, I think! It’s great to be recognised for the effort our community puts into ensuring we get to live in a beautiful place.
On the home front, we were named the top council in the country for offering a quality customer experience at the 2018 Association of Local Government Information Management Spring Conference. It’s amazing for our team to be recognised for going the extra mile for those who matter the most – our community!
Reflecting on the year is a good way to see how far we’ve come, and think about where we are heading. I think we’d all agree there’s plenty to look forward to in 2019.
Please look after each other as you welcome in the New Year, and we’ll see you in 2019.