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Vision is good news for sobering situation.

A report from the Mercury Bay Business Association - by Suzanne Hansen.

“To boost business” was just one of the platforms of the new vision and plan put together by the Mercury Bay Business Association and outlined by Suzanne Hansen in last week’s The Informer and then presented at a public business gathering at the Mercury Bay Bowling Club last Tuesday evening. It was the result of several weeks of planning, negotiation and discussion by the MBBA committee to boost the economy and spirit of the Bay. Not just while we are hampered and hammered by closed roads and little control over that, but also to take charge more of our future and our economy.

About 80 attended, representing businesses in the Mercury Bay. People weren’t excited but there was a quiet appreciation of the work that had been done and that it was clear here was a practical setting out of options and tasks to benefit the region especially businesses and the well being of the community. People listed intently.

Suzanne Hansen spoke of the support of TCDC and the granting of some funding that was enabling them to organise events that would bring local people out, create retail activity and bring visitors.

Another aspect of the vision included working on increasing transport options. Suzanne explained that no one was happy that the SH25A would take until March (and there was doubt expressed that it would follow that schedule) but there is commitment to find the funding to do a feasibility study regarding the all-weather runway at the Whiti Airport.

Another thorn in the side of the economy was that there was still no access to Cathedral Cove, except by water, since the storms of January. The access by boat does not include setting down on the beach. No one is allowed there. This is crippling the Hahei economy and causing frustration and despair. Questions were asked as to why DOC had not completed the geo tech investigations and provided the community with a report.

Alan Hopping of the Lost Spring responded with a suggestion. Despite his business struggling without the visitors coming from the cities, he was upbeat and offered a very good and positive addition to the discussion. It was regarding the new name of our Peninsula roading network when it starts to be a network and not a “Snakes and Ladders board of one lane bridges, orange cones, slips and detours. Alan is proposing a name change; not Kopu - Hikuai, not SH 25A, not the Tairua Hill but….. The Great Eastern Highway.

Alan smiled and so did the people. I am sure we will hear more about this. With our penchant for initials as names, that makes The GEH. We could compete with Australia’s The GHAN (just kidding).

Lynda grant answered questions from the floor and asked for responses as to expertise sought and additional ideas.

Business owners stayed and talked around tables. That has to be good.

The Vision is set out on the website of Mercury Bay Business Association.

This last weekend extended by the Mataraki holiday was truly an experience of (in the words of their brief document) – “executing on a solid events and promotions cadence; increasing visitors and allowing Mercury Bay residents opportunities to reconnect and celebrate; bringing back Mercury Bay’s beach feel and community vibe.” The Matariki festival, in conjunction with the Mercury Bay Events Trust plus a number of community group projects and entertainment initiatives by local businesses made for a wonderful menu of events to enjoy and remember.

A BIG THANK YOU to all that were involved.

Caption: MBBA Logo

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