New Year's Day and many of us will have made resolutions to be fitter, healthier, save more, drink less, stop smoking, join a gym ...

The end of the old year and the promise of a fresh start makes turning over a new leaf appealing.

New Year gives us a timely reminder to look to the future, to see what good things may be on the horizon for us, our families and for our wider region.

We have great developments ahead here in Hawke's Bay, from business and job opportunities to recreational and housing initiatives.

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Property sales are steadily rising, as is investment in the region. New housing developments are springing up.

When record numbers of new residents are heading to Hawke's Bay from Auckland, Wellington and even offshore, we surely have to look around and think - hey, we have something good here.

Yes, over the last year we have seen the region's problems as well - begging and homelessness have been under the spotlight this year, and our use and abuse of tonnes of plastic has been called into question.

With a new year ticking over it's a good time to decide on resolutions that make a difference. Social aid agencies need volunteers and donations - there is a foodbank donation box in most supermarkets for those who are caring-but-hurried.

Our environment needs us to reduce, re-use and recycle. This can be time-consuming but the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

It's a good time to look to the future and decide to make a difference.

Happy New Year.