National Party leader Christopher Luxon is advising voters to "watch this space" as his party prepares a strategy to swing Hawke's Bay seats back to blue at the next election.
He said discussions about candidates and strategy would begin towards the end of this year.
"We want to win back this region for the National Party, for sure."
He visited Hawke's Bay on Monday to meet with mayors, growers and locals to discuss the issues concerning them most before a meeting at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, which about 450 people attended.
"I met with the four district councils and the regional council, many of the mayors and councillors themselves, and we had a discussion about Three Waters in particular."
He said the National Party fully supported the councils' opposition to Three Waters, and he was impressed by the unity of their constructive opposition and proposals.
"What's really exciting is that the Hawke's Bay region has come together and had a really good articulation of an alternative model.
"The assets stay in local ownership, but they are managed by a separate entity that the councils and, more importantly, the public have influence over."
He said the National Party is interested in the potential the alternative model could have, not just in Hawke's Bay, but across the country.
He said he thought four of the biggest issues in the Hawke's Bay region were gangs, skills shortages for growers, transport and the underfunded Hawke's Bay Hospital.
He said the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) programme had been successful for a long time in filling skill shortages for growers, but said the Pacific Island workers using the scheme should be allowed to stay longer each year to give growers more certainty.
"If they have more certainty about labour supply, they would invest more in packhouses. That creates more opportunity, more jobs, more income."
Gang violence was a major topic of discussion at the exhibition hall meeting.
"They are peddling misery across the country. Every family knows someone who has been affected by P, and the gangs are at the heart of that."
He said that the Labour government has been an apologist for gangs, citing a Mongrel Mob-led programme for meth-rehabilitation which received nearly $3m in funding, seized from gangs and criminals by police, from the government in 2021.
"We don't want to pay the gangs $2.5 million, like this government did. There are better rehabilitation services if that's what you wanted to spend the money on."
He suggested Salvation Army addiction programmes as an example nationwide that could use the $2.75m better.
"We have to be much more assertive, much more disruptive, empower our police to be able to challenge the gangs over gun crime."
He said better investment in roads, rather than lowering speed limits, would be a good solution for efficient and safe transport.
"Spending $3m or $4m on roads in the Hawke's Bay for tens of thousands of people seems better to me than spending $785m on a walking cycling path across the Waitematā Harbour, which was the plan until it was kiboshed."
He said more investment was needed for the Hawke's Bay Hospital to support the population, and recommitted to National's 2020 promise to invest $500m in the hospital if elected.
He said the aim of the National Party was to create new ideas while opposing the Government.
"Our challenge as the new National Party is to say 'We're back, we've reset'."