I’m a passionate supporter of the Arts and avid supporter of the Hawkes Bay Opera House as it’s a national treasure and therefore it deserves significant funding from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. If we are to create a vibrant, living, cultural precinct in the centre of the city, the Opera House needs to be affordable and accessible for the community. Ministry funding is essential to minimise the cost to the ratepayers.
That really leads us to the need to be proactive in the revitalisation of the centre city area. It’s great that businesses such as Hawkes Bay Today relocated onto the main street but we need more commercial activity to support the businesses that exist on the ‘strip shopping centre’. The ‘big box’ stores are all locating over by the Warehouse and Mitre 10 and that will continue to grow – particularly with Bunnings redeveloping the old warehouse site.
We now need to encourage boutique shopping in Heretaunga Street.
There are plenty of great experts in precinct revitalisation, so we should be seeking their advice on how to breathe life back into Hastings Main Street.