As we head into 2016, Rotorua Daily Post reporter Kyra Dawson asked prominent local Maori what they would like to see for our city this year.

Sustained socio-economic growth for our community leading to increased employment opportunities matched with strong leadership and greater cohesion within our local council. Continued emphasis on key environmental issues such as improving the quality of our lakes and waterways combined with sustainable wastewater treatment solutions. Achieving successful outcomes for the Te Arawa partnership model with the Rotorua Lakes Council in this inaugural year, will go a long way to breaking down barriers that have created division within the community and will allow greater cohesion, participation and growth towards a common goal - a prosperous and positive Rotorua giving real meaning to the expression "Rotorua feel the spirit, manaakitanga".

TE TARU WHITE
Chairman, Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board

Rotorua has never felt more vibrant than it does right now and I really don't want us to rest on what we have and instead continue to develop Rotorua in to the best place in the world to live, work and play. We also need to really forge ahead with a strategy that lifts the lifestyles of all those in Rotorua, no matter what socio-economic bracket you're in. We need to find a smart way to help those who need it in our town that is sustainable and not a short term, band aid fix. Regularly engaging our locals in the wonderful free assets that we have is a great start to this, getting our people active in our forests for cycling and walking as well as the lakes for swimming and boating. Making people understand that hydro slides and movie theatres are awesome, but the natural playground that our city sits on are even better than any of that and should be used every day.

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TAK MUTU
Director, Mountain Bike Rotorua Limited

I'd like to see that we continue to inspire each other, to see us build a tolerance for each other, to create opportunities for growth and expand our thinking, to evolve as we have done and call on our local entrepreneurs to lead the way. Lastly, to think of ways to get together to celebrate. I would also like to encourage families to rest and re-energise.

MONTY MORRISON
Kaitiaki Maori
Rotorua Lakes Council

There's a positive mood in Rotorua - Eat Street is humming, our markets are vibrant and our tourism businesses are booming! The recent launch of the Te Arawa Partnership group is another positive step forward, bringing together major Maori entities to play a strategic role in growing the assets and natural resources of the region. In 2016, I want to see a couple of exciting Maori-led investment projects get under way in Rotorua as well as see more Maori voters take part in the local elections in October.

KATIE PAUL
Chairwoman Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust

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