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Politicians urged to slow down

By amie.hickland@age.co.nz, Amie Hickland

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Wairarapa politicians have been urged to slow down and listen to the public after hundreds turned out to a public meeting this week to discuss council reform.

About 200 people attended the meeting at Carterton Events Centre on Tuesday night.

The meeting was organised by Toastmasters, organisation which teaches communication and public speaking skills.

Speakers included representatives from Wairarapa Development Group, Chamber of Commerce, Federated Farmers, JNL Forestry, Sustainable Wairarapa, Maori representatives and other community groups and organisations.

Toastmaster member, Anders Crofoot, led the meeting and said the speakers did well.

"It aired a number of views that normally wouldn't be heard for people to take into consideration," he said.

Mr Crofoot said the main feeling from the meeting was for everybody to slow down and consider all the options.

There was an intention to have a new structure in place before the next election cycle but said this is no longer possible.

"From the floor, there was definitely a very strong feeling that the whole process would be good if it slowed down," he said. There was a show of hands and fewer than a dozen people disagreed.

Ideas thrown around at the meeting included looking at governance options with Hawke's Bay instead of Wellington as the two regions have more in common.

"I think in many respects, that idea has merit," Mr Crofoot said.

People needed to decide what the best way to deliver services was and how that should be represented.

"Hopefully the politicians are listening to us," he said.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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