News & updates


NATIONAL BAN ON Single Use plastic bags as of 1 july

The national ban on single use plastic bags for businesses comes into force on 1 July. The ban aims to reduce the amount of plastic entering and damaging the environment and being ingested by the sea life in our oceans. While some shoppers have become used to taking their own reusable bags to supermarkets due to their earlier changes to plastic bag policy, consumers may not be aware that the ban now applies to all retailers; from takeaway outlets, dairies and pet shops, to petrol stations, clothing stores, and shoe shops.

The rules apply to any type of plastic less than 70 microns in thickness, that's new or un-used, has carry handles, is provided for carrying sold goods, and is made of bio-based materials like starch. It also covers bags made of plastics that are degradable, biodegradable or oxo-degradable. These are sometimes marketed as "not plastic". The typical type of bag covered are those offered at supermarkets and stores, which measure at about 35 microns, while those from clothing or department stores are usually between 50 and 70 microns.

Even though bio-based plastic bags are sometimes made from plants, their manufacturing process prevents them from breaking down as quickly or as easily. Compostable bags, for example, if not composted properly, ended up being a problem too. People will still be able to buy lightweight barrier bags, like the ones that you get in the deli or butchery, along with bin liners, pet waste bags and nappy bags. Also exempt were bags used in packaging, like bread bags and pouches for cooked chicken. The Government's reasoning was that these types of bags were needed for hygiene purposes, and at this stage, it wasn't looking at extending the ban to them.

The rules don't apply to long-life synthetic fabric multi-use shopping bags. These are bags usually between 45 and 75 microns in thickness and made wholly or predominantly of nylon, polypropylene or polyester fabric and designed to be multi-use. Similarly, there is an exemption for bags certified by an accredited entity as being capable of carrying 5kg over a distance of 100m for a minimum of 55 uses.

There have been warnings that retailers could face six-figure fines, however, the ministry has pointed out that it wanted to focus more on working with businesses to encourage compliance. In the event that someone contacted the ministry to tell them about a breach, officers would contact the business and work with them to find out why they hadn't stopped giving out banned bags. The ministry also planned to begin random retail precinct audits to assess levels of compliance and advise retailers where changes were required.

The Ministry for the Environment, through WasteMINZ, has made available posters for businesses to use, in a variety of languages, to remind their customers of the change.

  • Click here to access the link to posters in multiple languages that remind people to bring their reusable shopping bags. The posters have been made in the following languages English, te reo Māori, Mandarin – simplified (used in Mainland China) and traditional (used in Hong Kong and Taiwan); Korean, Hindi, Punjabi, Korean, Spanish.

  • Click the links here (A4 size) and here (A3 size) to access the links to posters showing retailer’s support for the ban.

  • The Ministry for the Environment also has toolkits available for retailers. The toolkits are available in English here and in te reo Māori here.

For retailers who still have shopping bags left today, there are alternatives to sending them to landfill.

- For oil-based HDPE plastic bags, Comspec (a plastics recycler in Christchurch) will accept plastic shopping bags as long as they are still boxed up. Robert Fowler, director of Comspec, says companies wishing to take up this option just need to pay the freight to get them delivered to his facility.  There will be no extra charge for recycling.  Visit their website for contact details.

Comspec will only accept unused, single-use plastic bags with carry handles, made from LDPE and under 70 microns in weight. This excludes biodegradable, oxo-degradable, degradable, or compostable plastic bags as they cannot be recycled or reused.

- For retailers with smaller numbers of unused shopping bags it is legal for retailers to donate the bags as long as they are used as bin liners, and not carry bags. Retailers could approach community food banks, so the bags can be included in food parcels, for families needing support to use as bin liners at home.  Otherwise, they could contact local animal welfare centres, who may be able to use the bags for disposing of pet litter or animal waste.

- For retailers with large numbers of boxed compostable bags, if they are certified to AS 4736 please contact WasteMINZ for possible solutions.

- For oxydegradable, degradable and biodegradable bags they need to be donated as bin liners or sent to landfill.

If any Hastings businesses have unused, clean bags that could possibly be recycled, please get in touch with the Hastings District Council waste team as they may be able to arrange for them to be recycled - depending on the volume and type of plastic.


shop in hastings city during matariki and be in to win $500!

Matariki is the Maori new year, named for a group of seven stars known as the Pleiades star cluster. This is traditionally a time of remembrance but also a time of celebration and looking forward to the future, so to celebrate Matariki, we want to give you the chance to win $500 to spend in Hastings City. It couldn’t be easier to enter - simply spend $20 or more in any one purchase at any participating business in Hastings City, complete the entry form in store and that’s it - you’re in the draw to win $500 to spend in Hastings City. We are also giving away spot prizes every day during the competition, so be sure to follow Hastings City on Facebook and Instagram to find out what we’re giving away and how you can win over the two week competition.

The competition runs from Monday 17 June to Friday 30 June, with the lucky winner being drawn on Monday 1 July. If you win, you’ll be able to redeem your $500 at any of the businesses which fall within the Hastings City CBD, the boundaries of which are Hastings, St Aubyn, Nelson and Southampton Streets. A full list of participating businesses can be found here. Now there’s no excuse to let the colder, darker days of Winter put you off shopping in Hastings City, especially when you could win big with our Celebrate Matariki in Hastings City competition!

Terms and Conditions
The Hastings City Business Association’s “Celebrate Matariki in Hastings City” promotion competition runs from 9am Monday 17 June 2019 to 5pm Sunday 30 June 2019. Only one entry per any one purchase of $20 or more spent in any participating business. The winner of the $500 Hastings City dollars will be drawn on Monday 1 July 2019. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. If the winner cannot be contacted within 3 working days, at the Hastings City Business Associations option, the winner will forfeit the prize with no right of compensation and the prize will be redrawn. The prize of $500 Hastings City dollars is only redeemable at businesses within the boundaries of the Hastings City Business Associations zone. The zone has a boundary of Hastings, St Aubyn, Nelson and Southampton Streets A map of this zone can be found here. The maximum number of spot prizes that can be won by any one person is one. Spot prizes will not be awarded to the same person more than once.



If you have kids and you’re stuck for activities to do this Easter, then listen up because we’ve got it sorted! Thanks to Upstart Magazine, we would love to have kids between the ages of 5-13 to participate in the Upstart Hastings City Bunny Adventure running from April 1 to April 14, focused in and around the Hastings City.

We have over 20 stores in Hastings City who are participating in this promotion, and each shop will have an Easter bunny sticker hidden on the front of their store window. From April 1, kids can pick up an entry card from any one of these participating stores or at the Hastings i-Site. All they need to do is find one of the stores in Hastings City with the bunny sticker, and head inside to get a stamp on their card.

Once the kids have filled up the card up with 12 stamps from 12 different participating stores, (no purchase necessary), they fill out their contact information on the back of the card and hand it over to the last store keeper to claim a prize! All of the prizes are sponsored by Upstart Magazine, a local publication which is produced with the help of primary and intermediate school children and their teachers throughout New Zealand.

Every completed entry gets a prize, plus all of the completed entry cards go into the draw to win a MEGA School Holiday Fun Pack (valued at $200) or one of four runners-up prize packs (valued at $100 each), thanks to Upstart Magazine. The major prize will be drawn at the Harcourts Hastings City Easter Night Market on April 18th, during the first week of the school holidays.

Another free and family focused event that we are holding, in conjunction with Hastings District Libraries, is the Upstart Hastings City Bunny Hop. This will be held on Thursday April 11th, from 4pm to 6pm in Civic Square, Hastings. This is a free, family friendly event with lots of interactive and hands on activities for kids, including a colouring in competition, face painting, make your own bunny ears, egg and spoon races, an Easter rock hunt (and more!). There will be lots of spot prizes sponsored by Upstart Magazine, and every child who finds an Easter Rock will get a free copy of the Upstart Magazine, while stocks last. The colouring in competition winner will also be drawn at the Harcourts Hastings City Easter Night Market on April 18, so hop to it and make sure you’re in to win!

Terms and Conditions: One entry per person. Competition runs from 1st - 14th April 2019. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The competition is open to children aged between 5-13 years only. Winners will be drawn at the Harcourts Hastings City Night Market at 6pm on 18th April. If the prize winner cannot be contacted within 3 working days, at the Hastings City Business Association’s option, that winner will forfeit the prize with no right of compensation and the prize will be redrawn. By entering this competition any participants are deemed to have given Hastings City Business Association and Upstart Magazine consent to contact them for marketing purposes.

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Busy City plan kicks off

March 5, 2019

A raft of projects that will dramatically enhance and enliven Hastings’ city centre are about to get underway.

Seeing the Hastings District Council City Centre Public Spaces Revitalisation Plan in print, complete with a timeline, is very exciting, says Hastings City Business Association chairman Craig Riddiford.

All but three of the 23 projects are already funded in Hastings District Council’s budget, and the bulk of them will be completed over the next four-and-a-half years. Several are due to be started before the end of June this year. “The Eastbourne St upgrade is underway, and the time-line shows that we will see more outdoor eating spaces, more pocket parks, and a start made on major improvements to the central plaza.

“Our business association members are rapt with this news,” he said. “We are very pleased that Council has undertaken to get input from the business people within each improvement area as it undergoes final design.

“Our vision, as a central city business association, is to do what we can to make Hastings a fantastic place to work, shop and do business. That aligns with Council’s vision to make improvements that lift vibrancy in the central city. This plan will materially contribute towards those aims.”

Mr Riddiford said he would be encouraging association members in each project area to get involved as the opportunity arose. “This is a once in a business-lifetime opportunity to make Hastings the very best it can be.”

To read the Hastings District Council plan see:

Released on behalf of the Hastings City Business Association by Joyce Communications
For more information contact:

To be or not to be . . .

Members of the Hastings City Business Association are about to vote on whether to transform their association into a Business Improvement District.

The central city area, bordered by Nelson St, St Aubyn St, Southampton St and Hastings St, has had a business association for 25 years. Owned and funded by the members with businesses and buildings within that area, it is focused on making Hastings central city a vibrant, distinctive and safe destination to work, shop and visit – thereby increasing business success, says the chairman of the association Craig Riddiford.

“We have had a great number of successes over the past years, particularly in the retail sphere, but we can always improve,” he says. “The Business Improvement District model is widely used and proven in our main New Zealand cities and across the world. The main benefits are that the BID model sets in place improved and strengthened processes around the association’s relationships with, and reporting and communications to, stakeholders; principally our members and Council.

“It is about adding in better practices without losing the great things we already do and without having to reinvent the wheel; particularly given there is already a proven programme that delivers results.”

Mr Riddiford said that a new Council policy also needed to be taken into account. “That policy is that business associations funded by targeted rates, which is how our association is funded, deliver their programmes using the BID model.”

The board has published an information document ahead of the vote: BID: Together we are stronger

The vote opens on March 1, closing on March 21, with all business and building owners within the defined area eligible to vote.

For further information contact Craig Riddiford, central city accountant and board chairman; phone 021 046 5213.

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Get your glad rags on!

The crowds will flock to the central city plaza in Hastings on Thursday [February 14] to get togged up for the region’s biggest festival of the year.

The Madness in the Mall Art Deco Market is all about getting your hands on authentic, affordable clothes, shoes and accessories - to the tune of great entertainment - for the four-day Art Deco Festival, says Hastings City Business Association board member Natasha Bird.

With the stallholders lined up, as well as the Twin City Stompers, Born to Move, and the Floorless Dance Studio for entertainment, it will be a fantastic day. “There’s always a big crowd with a great vibe at the market, and there is something for everyone. Art Deco is a festival our whole region gets into – a celebration of our history and our culture.”

Mrs Bird says the stallholders are always “fantastic”.

“They have everything from vintage second-hand to new clothes, jewellery and accessories; you can have your makeup and hair done in those amazing art deco styles – so you are all ready for the what is one of our biggest festivals.”

Many of the retailers along the strip also put on their finery, adding to the “incredible atmosphere”.

The market runs from 10am to 8pm, on Thursday, February 14, in the central city plaza, Hastings.

The business association organises the Hastings District Council-funded Madness in the Mall Art Deco Market. “It is an event that adds to the vibrancy of our city – helping to make it a great place to work, shop and do business,” said Mrs Bird. “And that’s what we are all about.”

The Art Deco Festival runs from February 13 to 17.

Released on behalf of the Hastings City Business Association by Joyce Communications

For more information contact:
Diane Joyce
Joyce Communications
021 612270

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Together we are making a difference

The figures tell the story: Retail spending in Hastings has been rising every year for more than three years and the latest fantastic results show that there is no sign of a slow-down.

The very strong growth can be put down to a number of excellent initiatives, said Hastings City Business Association chairman and BWR Chartered Accountants director Craig Riddiford this week.

Association members are about to be asked if they want to become an official Business Improvement District (BID), a formal structure that has brought much success for business communities internationally.

“This would build on the great results we have already seen. A lot of our success is about working together; the Hastings City Business Association, our members and Hastings District Council.

“Retail statistics are a good indicator of a city’s overall economic health and ours are extremely pleasing.”

Figures released by Hastings District Council showed that over the past three years, growth in retail spending had steadily increased – ahead of the national growth average.

In just the last 18 months alone, spending in Hastings had climbed from $47.6 million for the three months to September 2017, to $67m for the same three months last year.

The two earlier quarters of 2018 saw three month sales figures of $67m and $71m. Those figures did not include the traditional ‘high holiday’ Christmas period, which in 2017 reached $81.2m over the three months. The figures for this Christmas quarter, just released, topped $88.8m, up nine per cent on the previous Christmas.

“A great deal of effort has gone into the city, through events and marketing initiatives and a focus on the look and feel of the central area. It has helped build an inviting, thriving business district,” said Mr Riddiford.

“Our residents and visitors are enjoying coming into the city for shopping and to carry out business, and it is a real pleasure to see.”

He said the formation of the Hastings City Business Association 25 years ago had been a pivotal action; providing business owners and landlords with a way to have their voice clearly heard around the Council table, and a platform from which to organise events and launch marketing activities.

“Having a focused business platform has been a proven strategy around the world. It is good for everyone within our central city zone; drawing shoppers into retail outlets, which is good for landlords relying on their tenants for income, and encouraging people to carry out other business transactions within an area in which they feel comfortable.”

Business owners and landlords within the HCBA zone are about to be asked if they wish to transform the association from its current model to the internationally tried and tested Business Improvement District (BID) model. That would see a continued focus on marketing and events within a strengthened reporting and communications structure.

“As a board, looking across the improvements made to the city and the increased vibrancy and spending figures, we believe we should continue with our now tried and true strategy but I do believe the new structure will add benefits for our membership,” said Mr Riddiford.

The board will release a strategy document and summary to members in the next few weeks, setting out the successes so far and a draft plan for the future. ‘Quick chat’ meetings will be held within the city blocks to allow business owners to ask questions.

“What we are looking for is a mandate to formulate this new structure. The six board members are all business owners volunteering their time on the board. What we have in common is a belief that with the support of our membership and the hardworking HCBA staff, we can continue this upward trend that benefits us all.”

Released on behalf of the Hastings City Business Association by Joyce Communications

For more information contact:

Diane Joyce
Joyce Communications
021 612270


Welcome Back!

The first Hastings Leader of the year is back which means life is returning to normal. The holidays are mostly over and we’re looking forward to the changes and challenges that the new year will bring.

For me, I’ve made the tough decision after nearly three years at the Hastings City Business Association to move on to a new role, so this is my final column.

I’m leaving the team in great hands, and you’ll soon start hearing from the amazing Kelly Burgess, one of the new faces here in Hastings City.

When I look back at the changes the city has gone through in the last three years I am amazed. Hastings is thriving. Hastings District Council are actively investing in the CBD and you’ll start seeing changes as new green spaces are created, the lighting is updated and the city is given a freshen up.

The East Side has gone from an up-and-coming strip to a full thriving hot spot. Retail space is at capacity and with the Opera House opening in the next 12 months it will only go from strength to strength.

The west side is seeing a resurgence with the new pocket park laneway opening up additional parking and adding a much needed green space in the heart of Heretaunga West. You’ll start hearing live music at lunchtimes over Summer coming from there as we start and activate that space.

Bay Plaza continues to be a shopping hub. How many of us made 11pm shopping runs over Christmas? The team there are working hard to make sure that Hastings has access to some of the best shopping in Hawke’s Bay.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved working at the HCBA over last few years. I’ve had the privilege of working with amazing people who have turned into life long friends. I’ve been welcomed into the Hastings Community with open arms and together we’ve strived to make our city a better place.

But enough looking back, it’s a new year and time to look forward.

Kelly Nolan

Acting Manager; Hastings City Business Association


Hurray, the sun is back and Summer is here!

Last week we kicked off Christmas with a packed out Harcourts Hastings City Night Market in the heart of the CBD. Thousands of you came out to visit Santa and soak up the Christmas Cheer.

Our next market is on December 20th and is chocka full of stalls to fill the Christmas stockings. The Twin City Stompers will be filling the CBD with Christmas tunes and we’ll have all your favorite food trucks. It’s going to be a fantastic way to cruise into the holiday break so make sure you grab the family and come down!

In other Christmas news the Hastings City Christmas Countdown is back! We’re giving away amazing prizes every day between now and December 22nd. We’ve got some seriously cool prizes lined up and you can enter to win every day! Make sure you keep an eye on our facebook page @hastingscity to enter the daily draws.

Santa’s Wonderland is now open opposite BJ’s Café in the center of town. The jolly man in red will be there Tuesday-Saturday until December 22nd. The Wonderland is packed with intricately decorated trees, a Lego Christmas Village display and a Selfie Wall! Entry is free but if you would like to give back we gratefully accept food or coin donations to the Hastings Food Bank Trust who do amazing work all year round, and especially at Christmas, making sure that those in our community who need it have enough in their cupboards. 

Kelly Nolan

Acting Manager; Hastings City Business Association

Santa Claus is coming to Town


This is it people. The final push to Christmas is on. It’s almost December and Santa has come early to Hastings. As all my friends can tell you Christmas turns me into a giddy, singing happy fool and the thing I love the most is seeing the look on a child’s face the first time he sees Santa. The Hastings Santa’s Wonderland is the place to make the magic happen. Open on Thursday November 29th back in the city mall area the wonderland is a forest of over 150 Christmas trees, bears and decorations leading to Santa’s throne. Kids can come and meet Santa and give him their lists and Mum and Dad can grab a few pictures too. The Wonderland is free but if you can we would love a donation of food or coins for the Hastings Food Bank. The Wonderland is open from 10am to 3.30pm pm Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours over the week of Dec 18th and super special late hours during the Christmas Night Market on November 29th and December 20th.
There are play areas for the kids this year and the elves have been working hard and have extended last years’ magical Lego Christmas display. Last year Santa met over 13,000 children and he is expecting even more this year so make it an outing for the whole family. He even has a Photo frame to get a picture for your holiday greeting. Bring your cameras or phones for pictures and make family memories that last a lifetime. This year we are introducing a special hour set aside for people with sensitivity to bright or flashing lights and loud music. If you are affected, please join us on Wednesday mornings between 9-10am.

Kelly Nolan

Acting Manager; Hastings City Business Association

Hastings CBD Vibrancy Plan

Find out how Hastings District Council is supporting the Hastings CBD through their comprehensive Vibrancy Plan...

Albert Square

An amazing, versatile space for performance, markets or just reading a book in the sun! This wonderful inner city greenspace has a stage that lowers down for all types of performance, including a basic lighting and sound system.

Harcourts Hastings City Night Market

We love bringing live local entertainment to the people at the Night Market.  It's a great way to set the scene, get people involved and to showcase some of our talented artists, musicians and performers. 

The Harcourts Hastings City Night Market is now closed for the Winter but will start again on October 19th for our Diwali Festival Night Market