Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst of Hastings: From Safe Water to City Centre

SANDRA Hazlehurst is the first female mayor of Hastings of New Zealand. Elected in 2017, Sandra feels the immediate responsibility in bringing out the best of Hastings. Her value in her leadership is to bring an attitude of putting people first, of supporting and listening to people. There are two main things Sandra carries out to make Hastings a better place to live: ensuring a clean water supply and rebuilding the opera house.

Safe Water Supply for Hastings

Elected in 2017, the leadership of Mayor Sandra came at the “right time” as Hastings was hit by Havelock North water contamination back in 2016, causing the death of many people due to a campylobacter outbreak. Ever since Hastings has invested heavily to ensure safe drinking water for all of the district’s communities and make it the number one priority. Many sources mentioned that Hastings has invested around $82 million on drinking water infrastructure enhancements for five years. According to, the projects started with the construction of a new near 5 km water main pipe between Hastings and Havelock North, and will finish with the completion of Waiaroha, critical water storage, treatment, and education facility in the central city. The Waiaroha facility itself is planned to complete in 2022.

Re-opening of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House

After six years of earthquake strengthening, Hawke’s Bay Opera House reopened on 29 February 2020. Through a $17 million project, the building has a new name “Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre”, which also covers the Opera House, the Municipal Building, the Cushing Foyer, and the former Plaza space.  

At the opening of the Opera House, Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst mentioned that it sparks many benefits. Quoted from the , “Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre is already creating a buzz in the city. Fabulous new hospitality businesses have recently opened and existing businesses are expanding. Toitoi will bring the heart and soul back to Hastings, generating an arts renaissance as well as igniting a new era of vibrancy and prosperity for our district.” As the Centre also includes Municipal Building, Hastings is currently busy preparing for the re-opening of the Hastings Municipal Building on 5 August 2022. “Our city centre already has a stellar line-up of hospitality and retail businesses and we know the addition of these exciting new additions in the Municipal Building will appeal to Hawke’s Bay locals and visitors, and further enhance our great central city offering,” said Mayor Sandra on

With her real passion for Hastings, Mayor Sandra has recently announced her plan to run for the role again for the next three years. All the best to Mayor Sandra and we are looking forward to a more exciting development in Hastings.