Happy New Year!

Hopefully everyone welcomed 2018 in suitably grand (but safe) style last night, whether at home with loved ones or in the midst of what was a buzzing Rotorua.

With those celebrations now over, it's natural many of us will turn our thoughts to the year ahead - what we'd like to achieve, do more or less of, do better or quit altogether.

Your resolutions may be the same every year, or you may be one of those people who are always finding new areas for improvement.


Either way, we make these goals with the hope that in a year's time we can look back and see the positive difference those changes have made to our lives.

It's fair to say this doesn't just apply to individuals. Rotorua, and those responsible for its running, can also find new areas of improvement, do things better, differently, more or less - so as 2018 comes to an end, our city is a better place than it is now.

Today we've asked some of Rotorua's leaders and residents what they want for Rotorua in 2018.

Some of the answers were light-hearted and jovial, like "for Kmart to hurry up and open" while others sought solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our city - housing, homelessness and clean waterways.

These big issues will not be quick fixes. They never are. But the good news is they don't have to be pipedreams either.

Four years ago I moved to Rotorua when it was a dying city - stagnant growth, limited job opportunities and a tired-looking CBD.

Now, Rotorua is a completely different place. You don't have to agree with all the decisions our city leaders have made, but you can't deny the positives that have come from our booming property market, vibrant city centre and growing population.

Steve Chadwick and Todd McClay both believe progress was made in 2017, though they acknowledged it was a hard year in some aspects, and are looking forward to building on that momentum this year.

Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey hopes to see cleaner lakes and rivers, more houses and more young people involved in sport.

On both an individual and city-wide level, here's hoping 2018 is the year some of these wishlist items can be ticked off - at least we know Kmart will be among them!