RED TAPE: Hastings mayoral candidate Stuart Perry says there is frustration in the business community over the red tape at council. HBT17176311

There are many issues residents of the district have raised with me during this campaign - concern over water, chlorination and associated health problems have been constantly at the forefront. But as I have moved around the business community, the challenges of red tape and bureaucracy become more and more apparent.

There's been promises of improving the city's vitality, facilitating growth in the CBD, increasing residential and industrial development but when you ask the business community why it's talk and no action, they'll tell you red tape tangles and frustrates them.

I've heard examples of 'bully boy' tactics from inspectors, delaying tactics with planning, exorbitant fees and an attitude from council suggesting that rather than working with developers to grow the district, council stifles progress.

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The prevailing attitude at council seems to be 'the answer is no, now what is the question'!

For healthy growth in the community, we need a 'can-do' attitude from council so that the engine room of Hawkes Bay is encouraged to grow. Developers are not some dangerous cult, they are people who invest time and money into growing our economy. For every dollar they spend, more jobs are created.

The more jobs created, the wealthier our communities, the less incentive for crime, the increased ability for home ownership and a safer community for all.

Social housing is a stop-gap measure, long term financial strength and security brings real growth in home ownership, something that is more attainable here in the Bay than many areas of New Zealand.

Councillor-candidates pay lip-service to 'cutting the red tape' but they allow bureaucrats to continue to slow the entrepreneurs down.

The business community trying to grow the economy say it's like wading through treacle, such are the difficulties the council throw in their way.

The district needs a mayor with a can-do attitude so the excellent ideas of inner-city apartments, CBD vitality, industrial growth and rural prosperity become reality.

Stuart is a candidate in this month's Hastings mayoral byelection. All opinions are the writer's and not those of Hawke's Bay Today.