Newly-elected local MPs Lawrence Yule and Stuart Nash were given a lesson on how to win over a crowd in a show-stealing performance by resident Tessa Selwyn at Hohepa's 60th anniversary celebrations last weekend.
At Hohepa's anniversary lunch, more than 100 families from throughout New Zealand listened to Ms Selwyn's riveting speech.
She offered insights into the recent election and encouraged Labour leader Jacinda Adern to get on with coalition talks with Winston Peters.
Ms Selwyn has lived at Hohepa since 1988. With a strong interest in politics, she recently secured an Inclusive NZ grant to research the attitudes of parliamentarians towards people with disabilities.
Stuart Nash and Lawrence Yule were on stage with Napier mayor Bill Dalton.
They each relayed personal stories of their connection to Hohepa. The stories of a bygone era were recounted with the exploits of Hohepa founder Sir Lewis Harris at the forefront of these reflections.
Hohepa regional board chairperson Shelly Witchalls took the opportunity to announce the recent appointment of Santiago De Marco as Hohepa's new general manager. This followed the retirement of Andy White earlier this year.
Argentinian by birth, Mr De Marco has been working at Hohepa for over 18 years. He said he came to Hohepa to work for three months and was still here. He lives with his family at Poraiti, close to the Hohepa children's community he has been part of for many years.
Mayor Bill Dalton told those present that Hohepa played a central role in reflecting a caring Hawke's Bay community.
Long before anywhere else, Hawke's Bay people embraced those with intellectual disabilities, he said.
Mr Dalton also said it was good business for the region, noting Hohepa was Napier's fourth largest employer, bringing in $20 million to the region annually.