It is wonderful to finally be here in Lower Hutt, as my family and I start our new lives in New Zealand, and I start my new job as Chief Executive of Hutt City Council. We have spent the last 3 months preparing for the shift from Doncaster and I have been bowled over by the warmth and kindness of the welcome we have received here in our new home.
Many people have asked me about my vision for this city. My answer is – I don’t have one, yet. I know that the role of council is to ensure that Lower Hutt and its people are enabled to be the very best they can be. The vision for Lower Hutt? Well that doesn’t belong to me.
Vision and future planning are things we will build together – Mayor, Councillors, Council officers, residents, businesses and voluntary organisations. The city belongs to everyone, and our plans should reflect that. My immediate priority is to listen and learn as I settle into this new role.
Of course, there are immediate things to be dealt with, including working with the community on a solution for Naenae Pool and the wider vision for Naenae – this week Council decided which options to take through to the important step of community engagement – and also local body elections in October. But I will also have a focus on the longer term picture.
I’ve always believed that places and people can either prosper or be held back by good public services and civic leadership. It will be my job to ensure Lower Hutt has the best leadership and services possible. I want to find out as much as I can about the work that’s been done, and what else we could be doing.
I’d love to hear from as many people as possible, so I encourage you to get in touch and let me know what you think. What would you like me to focus on? You can connect with me via email Jo.Miller@huttcity.govt.nz , say hi when you see me out and about or follow me on Twitter at @jomillernz. Thanks to all who have contacted me so far, including those who sent good wishes to me back in the UK.
As I start off on this exciting journey, I would like to thank my predecessor Tony Stallinger, and all those who have helped guide Lower Hutt this far on its journey. Lower Hutt has benefited from the passion and energy of many people. I now look forward to playing my part.
Ngā mihi nui