It was a huge and exciting privilege to host the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, mayors and other guests for the opening of the new Rainforest Centre at Pukeiti earlier this month.
It was a big day and a special milestone for Pukeiti. The region’s world-class garden can now offer a world-class visitor experience, no matter what the weather. The Rainforest Centre really does offer the ‘wow’ factor, so do go and see it for youself, if you haven’t already done so.
The opening was also an opportunity to talk about a wider vision – of the Taranaki Crossing as a new Great Walk, taking in not only Egmont National Park and Pouakai Hut, but extending out to Pukeiti and on to the coast at Oakura. It would be a big economic asset for the region and already, with projects like the Rainforest Centre, all the Councils in Taranaki are working to make it reality. But we also need the Government to show leadership.
The Taranaki Crossing is one of a number of regional issues that the three District Mayors and myself believe the incoming Government needs to address. As we did efore the 2014 elections, we’ve set out the region’s priorities in a message for whoever is in Government after polling day. Tourism and communications are big themes – events of the past few years have demonstrated the need for us to diversify. See www.trc.govt.nz/MtW/
Another talking point in the run-up to the election has been the environment, especially freshwater quality. Our cartoon series Talking on Water, which winds up this month, is aimed at highlighting freshwater issues that may not be widely known or understood, and thus encouraging informed discussion. Check this series out at www.bit.ly/TalkingOnWater(external link).
Finally, watch our for our new-look newsletter later in the year
— David MacLeod
RECOUNT — Taranaki Regional Council's quarterly newsletter
Issue 106, September 2017