Press Release – Wairarapa’s Future
The three Wairarapa district councils will begin joint public consultation on their preferred option of a single Wairarapa council next week. This follows endorsement of a council working party report and recommendations by Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district councils last Friday.
The Wairarapa Governance Review Working Party that has led the work on behalf of the three councils over the past 12 months will coordinate the consultation on their behalf.
“While local government reform is not a particularly exciting topic for many people, it will be one of the most important issues to face Wairarapa because it will affect everyone and it’s about putting in place a local government structure for the coming decades,” working party chair Lyn Patterson said.
“Usually it’s those with strong opinions – either way – that send feedback in these types of consultations. We’d like that to change and for people across all of our communities to give their view and have a hand in shaping their region’s future.”
“There has been a lot of work and community feedback over the last year which has resulted in agreement by councils on their future direction. Now we’re saying to our communities – ‘here’s an idea, how does it look?’ and we welcome the opportunity to discuss it with people.”
An alternative option for Wairarapa is to be part of a super-city style Wellington council that would see all major decisions made by a metropolitan council with less than 10 per cent representation from Wairarapa. Indications are that a proposal for this will be put forward early in the New Year.
A summary leaflet and feedback form will be delivered to every Wairarapa household next week, followed by public meetings in each of the five Wairarapa towns between 10 and 13 December. Further information will be available online and from council offices and libraries.
Wairarapa residents will have until 4 February 2013 to provide their feedback by post, email, fax and online. They will have the opportunity to discuss their feedback with members of the working party. After the consultation period the councils’ preferred option will need to be reviewed and adopted by councils before an application for change is made to the Local Government Commission.
Further information and copies of the working party’s report are available at www.wairarapasfuture.govt.nz and at district council offices and libraries in Wairarapa.
Public meeting information:
Carterton Monday 10 December, 7.30pm Carterton Events Centre
Featherston Monday 10 December, 7.00pm Anzac Hall
Greytown Tuesday 11 December, 7.00pm WBS Room, Greytown Town Centre
Martinborough Wednesday 12 December, 7.00pm, Martinborough Town Hall
Masterton Thursday 13 December, 7.30pm, Frank Cody Lounge, Masterton
A single Wairarapa council would combine both district and regional council functions. The proposed representation structure includes an elected mayor and 12 councillors elected from seven wards that largely follow current boundaries. Community boards for Carterton and Masterton would be added to the three existing South Wairarapa community boards.