Focus on tourism, economic benefits

By Victoria White

2 comments
FRESH PERSPECTIVE: As a newer Napier resident, Grant Hammond said he would bring no baggage, or vested interests to council if elected in October. PHOTO/WARREN BUCKLAND
FRESH PERSPECTIVE: As a newer Napier resident, Grant Hammond said he would bring no baggage, or vested interests to council if elected in October. PHOTO/WARREN BUCKLAND

Although Grant Hammond has lived in Napier for only two years, he has knocked on enough doors to understand the issues facing his ward, and is fully committed to solving them.

The Napier South resident is standing for Napier City Council as a candidate for the Nelson Park ward.

After visiting the city for the past 30 years, Mr Hammond said he had seen it progress and liked what the current council was working to achieve. Although he did not agree with everything in the long term, and district plans, the candidate said he felt they were aimed in the right direction, and wanted to be a part of the future vision for Napier.

"My time is fully committed to the people who live in the Nelson Park ward and all of Napier," he said.

With a background in the grocery industry - including his last role as national sales account manager for Tip Top icecream - he would bring business and leadership skills to the council table.

Having moved to Napier with his wife two years ago, he could also bring a fresh set of eyes.

"While things aren't broken there is room for improvement in [the Nelson Park] ward," he said. "Rather than have another three years of the same, maybe we should look somewhere different, look for a fresh set of eyes, and a fresh perspective."

Through his own observations, and pounding the streets door knocking, Mr Hammond said he understood the challenges facing the ward's "diverse population".

"The responses you get along Marine Parade, down Harold Holt Ave, Wyfcliffe St, they're all different but they're all valid things to be concerned about," he said.

He was committed to solving the problems facing the ward, from smaller issues, such as improving bus stop visibility and developing better playgrounds, to bigger concerns around social housing, or community security.

To ensure residents felt safe and comfortable in their suburb, he said he wanted to see a greater police presence in the area to reduce crime, and to prevent future incidents by nipping criminal behaviour "in the bud".

Improving traffic safety in both his ward, and Napier, was a key area he hoped to work in if elected in October.

"We have a number of people concerned about the number of heavy trucks heading to the port along marine parade that will only get greater," he said, "Marine Parade is the jewel of the crown, and we need to protect that."

If elected, Mr Hammond said he would like to work to develop tourism opportunities - as well as bringing economic benefits, they would attract more businesses and people to Napier.

Mr Hammond works as a part time merchandiser for Villa Maria. He is also a part time DJ for Radio Bay FM, and a Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator in Napier south.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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