1989. It was a different time in New Zealand. The population was barely over three million. Mullets were in. And in November, the Local Government Act pulled 21 local Hawke's Bay authorities together, forming the five councils still present in the region today.
At Hawke's Bay Regional Council, there are about 12 staff members who have been there since the beginning.
Allan Beer had been on the East Coast Pest Destruction Board, one of the groups which amalgamated into the regional council.
He said it had been a journey.
"At the end of the day, we are still here, and if I didn't still enjoy what I do, and the responsibilities which come with it, I wouldn't still be here."
In fact, 30 years ago, he had been hoping to be made redundant.
"My life was going pear-shaped at the time, as it does when you're young, and I wanted redundancy.
"Another door opened, and I ended up running the depot, that was within two weeks of being transferred back!"
He said back in the day, he had been hired without even being asked if he had a motorcycle licence.
"And I was given a motorbike, and if I couldn't supply a gun, they were going to give me a gun.
"So were quite, I suppose, easy, but I think we were a lot safer back in the day as well, we were very safety conscious, but not a lot of 'health and safety'."
Of course, the amalgamation was one change, but over the past 30 years there have been others for the stalwarts at council.
Beer said his team had gotten smaller, drastically around 10 years after the merger, describing it as a stressful time.
"We had three depots, three team leaders, or supervisors, then they started amalgamating the depots to streamline things, roles changed, I took over managing part of the Taradale depot as well as Wairoa."
Nowadays, Beer is slightly more desk bound than he used to be, tendering out the field work to the private sector.
"No more motorbike, no more helmet-less days."
Compliance officer Ian Lilburn, who started off on the hydrological team, said there was a lot of calculated risk.
"Some things in the old days, we are just not allowed to do now."
He used to go out scuba diving for work, helping out with research, as he had a diving certificate, but these days it is left to professional divers.
He said the hydrology department had moved from trying to understand what resources were there, to managing them.
"Since more recent times the emphasis has been more on the environment and what is actually happening to the environment."
Of course, over the last 30 years there have been political changes as councillors have come and gone, but both men say they tend to stay clear of that side.
"With the level I work at, I don't get involved with the politics of it, in fact I make a point of trying to keep out of it," Lilburn said.
"And I'm exactly the same," Beer said.
"Being in animal pest control, some of the jobs that we tend to carry out, out there, or are in charge of or oversee, we get in enough strife, without worrying about what councillors are thinking."
Central Hawke's Bay celebrates 30 years
Past and present members of Central Hawke's Bay District Council gathered on Wednesday evening to celebrate its 30 year anniversary.
The councils inaugural meeting was held on November 1, 1989 after the merger of Waipukurau and Waipawa councils, with Hugh Hamilton the first person to hold the position of mayor.
He was in the role until 1996. In total, there have been six mayors in the district, including incumbent Alex Walker.
Walker said the issue of amalgamation had been hugely contentious back in the day.
"But through the passionate, committed and proud elected members and officers of Central Hawke's Bay; the issues of waste, water, roads and infrastructure continue to be as important today as they were 30 years ago.
"As a council we will continue to future-proof our core infrastructure and services, ensuring our decisions are for the benefit of our grandchildren."
There are still two council officers at council who were there at the time of amalgamation, Margaret Munro, who joined the Waipukurau District Council in 1981, and Miriam Squire, who joined in 1989.
On November 1 CHBDC staff planted a tree in the council office gardens to commemorate 30 years of service.
Hastings District Council also celebrates
Hastings District Council also gathered to celebrated 30 years, born from the amalgamation of Havelock North and eight of the 10 old ridings (areas) of the former Hawke's Bay County Council, as well as part of Taupo County.
Historian Michael Fowler said in 1987 it was clear that some reform of local government would take place, and local authorities in Hawke's Bay made submissions to the Local Government Commission setting out their preferences.
"The lead-up to this merger was polarising, with particular criticism coming from the Havelock North Borough Council, whose mayor Harry Romanes was concerned the prospects for the village would not be improved under the new regime."
Such was the worry in Havelock North, a coffin used to be paraded through the village, as residents thought the merger would represent the "death" of an independent Havelock North.
The town of Clive, which was governed by the Hawke's Bay County Council, "wasn't happy" about the prospect of merging with Hastings City Council.
Hastings City mayor Jeremy Dwyer, however, was unwavering in his encouragement for the merger and the benefits it could bring. He had a landslide victory of 17,000 votes and remained in office for 15 years.
On Sunday, past and present councillors, as well as community members, came to the Havelock North Function Centre to hear from Fowler, and a panel discussion comprising Jeff Whittaker, Mark von Dadelszen and Megan Williams, accompanied by questions and comments from the audience.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst attended wearing the mayoral chains that were first worn by Dwyer in 1989.
She said she was apprehensive in 1989 when she was a young businesswoman in Havelock North about what amalgamation would mean.
"Today Hastings District Council looks after and provides services to 80,000 people across a district of 5000 square kilometres, with 1600 kilometres of rural road and seven small communities.
"Havelock North's identity is stronger than ever before and Hastings city is going through significant transformation and investment."