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It's time to smell the roses in Whanganui and celebrate
Published: 25 Sep 2016
Author: Cr Helen Craig


It's time to smell the roses in Whanganui and celebrate our successes and exciting future.

Below is a summary of why we should be positive - looking to the future and not the past. 

The comprehensive list of projects completed and already budgeted and underway is on my website www.helencraigformayor.co.nz <http://www.helencraigformayor.co.nz/> - its well worth the read. Here's a snippet:

. The net Debt level has reduced by $18million over the past three years ending 30 June 2016 due to $8 million from the EDNZ sale, $2 million from our debt repayment levy and the balance from other sources and efficiencies driven through the organisation.

. A new CEO has been appointment and is restructuring Council operations and is already bringing savings to significantly reduce projected rates increases to within the 2% range - a fantastic achievement and an exciting future for Whanganui - even with the new proposed sewerage plant.

. Our population, jobs, house prices, tourism and business confidence have been rising for 2 straight years in a row. The District's total Capital value has grown by approximately $100 million in three years - largely due to new developments - not revaluations.

. Sealing of the Whanganui River Road is complete which is improving tourism access and volume.

. Retail is constantly changing and the available space has been expanding with new buildings rather than shrinking. Animates Pet chain are building a new store on the cnr of Dublin & Victoria Avenue and Wallace Developments are undertaking a full redevelopment in the second block, retaining the heritage frontage and all new stores are already under contract with new tenants.

. A new blueprint for the Port development has been completed and the No 1 wharf has been rebuilt together with the slipway. The Government has announced $500,000 funding for a comprehensive feasibility study to assess the full potential of the port area including an expansion of the marine industry plus ferry proposal by Neville Johnson. Q-West Boatbuilding have also confirmed their long term future and expansion.

. The Mountains to Sea National Cycleway of Significance final section from Upokongaro to the city is in final stages of planning. A Three meter wide Cycle/walkway from the city bridge to the North Mole and Cycle/walkway from the City bridge to St Johns Hill via St Hill Street are underway.

. Sarjeant Gallery Redevelopment project is confirmed and fundraising is well underway, with over $20 million raised externally already. The Gallery should reopen in late 2019 – the 100 year anniversary of the Gallery with $5 million investment from rates and $27 million funded from donations and grants.

. The International Flight School has been purchased from Fielding and is to be relocated at the Whanganui Airport – helping to boost the finances of the airport and attract NZ and international students.

. Council has funded $200,000 toward upgrading the Castlecliffe area and is working with the community to realise their dreams for the area. The Surf Life Saving club and Rotunda will benefit also.

See more on www.helencraigformayor.co.nz

Cr Helen Craig
Mayoral & Council Candidate

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