Wellington region is far better with Wairarapa in it, plain and simple
Greater Wellington Regional Council welcomes the decision by the Local Government Commission to propose a new sub-regional committee for the Wairarapa.
"This is what Greater Wellington has been recommending and I'm very pleased to see it in the mix," says Chris Laidlaw, Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair.
"Local Government rules mean Wairarapa's population only allows one councillor on the regional council, which frustrates everyone. We're delighted the commission has addressed this."
Councillor 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 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 first meeting of the new Greater Wellington Wairarapa Committee could be as early as August this year.
Regional Councillor for Wairarapa Adrienne Staples also welcomed the recommendation, 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."
The new committee will be comprised of Wairarapa councillors from MDC, CDC and SWDC and one member from both Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa.
Meetings will be held in Wairarapa, initially quarterly, with additional meetings if required. All meetings will be advertised and open to the public.
Cr Laidlaw says Wairarapa makes up three quarters the land in Wellington region, with a strong farming economy and great lifestyle options that complement the cities and towns west of the ranges.
"Wellington region is far better with Wairarapa in it, plain and simple."
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