Wairarapa people to get stronger voice on regional council issues
Greater Wellington Regional Councillors voted to establish a pilot Wairarapa Committee at their council meeting today (5 April).
The Local Government Commission recommended that GWRC form a Wairarapa Committee to focus on the regional council’s work in Wairarapa as part of its proposal for a combined Wairarapa District Council.
GWRC Chair Chris Laidlaw said a pilot Wairarapa Committee will bring a more focussed local dimension to complement the work the regional council already does with Wairarapa communities.
“I’ve agreed with the three Wairarapa councils that we should set up a pilot version of the committee in anticipation of the decisions on amalgamation later on this year.”
“We work with communities in Wairarapa to protect their homes, farms and businesses from flooding. We’re working with farmers to stabilise erosion prone land, and with the community to improve water quality in streams and rivers that feed the Ruamahanga River. We take advice on rural matters from a Farming Reference Group, made up mainly of Wairarapa farmers.”
The Wairarapa Committee will be made up of councillors from Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district councils, one member from both Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa and three regional councillors.
GWRC Wairarapa Councillor Adrienne Staples will chair the new committee.
Cr Staples welcomed the formation of the new committee noting the importance of bringing a strong Wairarapa perspective to the council table.
“The committee will give Wairarapa people a stronger voice on regional council issues that affect them. This was a key reason that sparked the reorganisation debate in the first place.”
Meetings will be held in Wairarapa, initially quarterly, with additional meetings if required. All meetings will be advertised and open to the public.
Current local government rules mean Wairarapa’s population only allows one councillor on the regional council.