A small group of Wairoa residents met tonight to discuss the Ruataniwha dam.

Held at the town's Gaiety Theatre, the group huddled up the front of the cinema to debate the water storage scheme to participate in the third in the series of four meetings.

Not one councillor turned up from the Wairoa District Council, with the District's May Craig Little currently in Dunedin.

Wairoa's regional councillor and council chairman, Fenton Wilson, turned up 20 minutes late.

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At the start of the forum those ratepayers in attendance gave the floor to Mr Wilson's colleagues - Tom Belford, Peter Beaven, Rex Graham.

The other mainstay to these forum's, Rick Barker, was also absent - as he is overseas at present.

The three regional councillors battled noise from work going on outside the theatre, to deliver their talking points on topics such as water storage and what is in it for Wairoa, the environment and $36 million water buy in.

The room was then opened up for questions.

More to come.