Mayor pledges action on ideas from summit

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Action will follow a summit held in Gore on Wednesday, Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks vows.

Mr Hicks is promising to move on implementing ideas that surfaced at the summit, held at the Heartland Hotel Croydon.

Short-term through to five-year goals were developed and a group of council staff and councillors will be formed to go about achieving them. Recent council recruits Ceri Macleod, as economic development co-ordinator, and Bernadette Hunt, as social capacity and health co-ordinator, will be involved.

The aim of the summit was to share opportunities and develop strategies.

After the meeting, guest speaker and former mayor of Horowhenua Brendon Duffy said although the Gore district was often misunderstood elsewhere, it was brimming with opportunities.

The tourist attractions in the district were of international quality, he said. The Eastern Southland Gallery, the brown trout fishing, Southern Field Days and the Hokonui Moonshine story and museum were among first-class attractions.

Council communications and promotions manager Sonia Gerken described the summit as “really positive”.

Among ideas to surface were attracting families to Gore; making Gore a destination of choice and a stopover; making better use of the Mataura River by building development to face the river to capture its appeal; and encouraging agritourism.

implemented soon included promoting the district’s lifestyle, rezoning land for more residential and commercial development, attracting young professionals and combining the illicit Hokonui whisky story with taking a trip on the mountain-bike track in the hills.

Gore Hospital chief executive Karl Metzler said at the summit the group he was in was keen to see Irk St upgraded. One idea was to build a covered-in area.

Council chief executive Steve Parry said another idea was to develop a trades academy under the umbrella of the Southern Institute of Technology.

“These ideas will be refined, prioritised and an action plan developed,” Mr Parry said.