Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese's Christmas message.

Kia ora koutou, 

This year I've been speaking often about the importance of empathetic and inclusive leadership. 

This involves making room for views and experiences that are different from your own and working in partnership.
I'm a great believer in the power of community partnership – we bring our mix of skills and talents and come together as a community to focus on a common goal or challenge. 

That requires an inclusive approach where you don't judge a person's value by their clothes, politics, occupation, or age and you give them the benefit of the doubt, especially when people step up to serve their community. 

Celebrating success and achievement, when you can share the moment with others, is enormously satisfying. And when things don't go quite according to plan, it's those community partnerships that help you find a way forward.

Throughout the year I've seen community partnership working in action in Nelson Whakatū. 

Whether it's innovation days, caring for wetlands, kapa haka groups, hosting All Blacks, raising funds for Hospice or providing meals to the most in need. Every day I see Nelsonians' generosity of spirit and caring shining through.

Many of the partners are volunteers; people with an empathy for people and the environment who are giving back to their community. 

You are often the quiet achievers who may not make a newspaper headline, but you are making a positive difference in our communities and for that I thank you sincerely.

Keep an eye out for people on their own this Christmas. This is a time for kindness and sharing.

To our emergency services, medical teams, retail and hospitality staff working and keeping us safe over the holiday period, thank you.

Please remember to keep safe out there, with seat belts on in the car and life jackets out on the boat.

Meri Kirihimete (Merry Christmas) 

Mayor Rachel Reese