Editorial: Mayor was champion for her city

By Andrew Austin

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Barbara Arnott passion for Napier is evident for all to see.
Barbara Arnott passion for Napier is evident for all to see.

Whether one likes her or not, no one can deny that Barbara Arnott has worked hard for Napier during her 12 years as mayor of the city.

Mrs Arnott's passion for Napier is evident for all to see and there are many developments and causes in the city that she has championed. A good example is the revamped Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG), which opened recently. Mrs Arnott was one of the key people involved who ensured the project was a success.

Come Sunday, she will no longer be mayor and a farewell function was held for her in Napier last night.

In recent times Mrs Arnott has come under fire from some quarters for her anti-amalgamation stance, but many will acknowledge that she is a mayor who has achieved much.

Her detractors may say she has stifled growth, while others will argue that she has delivered to the ratepayers by keeping rates low and ensuring the city has no debt.

Her style is completely different from her Hastings counterpart, Lawrence Yule, but that is because they appeal to different demographics.

Even though Mr Yule is pro-amalgamation, the two mayors have been able to work together very well and have a friendly working relationship.

Whatever happens on the amalgamation front in the next year, a good relationship between the mayors of Hastings and Napier is now vital.

I am not going to speculate who the mayors of the two cities will be after the election results are counted on Saturday, but they will need to be prepared to work together for the good of the region as well as their individual cities.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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