Feedback is made public

By Amie Hickland

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Wairarapa residents' thoughts on future governance options are now available as more than 1000 feedback forms have been made available to the public.

The Wairarapa Governance Review Working Party called for feedback from the public, with submissions closing in February.

The deadline was given as the Wellington-based Local Government Reform Working Party had advised their submission to the Local Government Commission would be ready in April, and the Wairarapa group will only have 20 days to submit an alternative application.

Masterton District Council communications adviser Sam Rossiter-Stead said the feedback forms have been available to public for a week.

So far, one person had come in to read them.

Mr Rossiter-Stead said ideas in the 1161 feedback forms ranged from keeping the status quo to some towns going alone.

He said there were also feedback forms people who live in Wellington but pay rates in Wairarapa.

"It's hard to believe there's any option that hasn't been expressed in these forms."

Copies of the feedback forms are also available at Carterton District Council and South Wairarapa District Council in Martinborough.

"People are welcome to come and have a look at them," said Mr Rossiter-Stead.

Both models for change propose a single council for the region, which may or may not include Wairarapa. One has a single tier of representation - a mayor and up to 29 councillors - while the other has a mayor and fewer councillors in the first tier, but a second tier of up to eight local boards. The alternative would be the status quo.

The process will include public meetings, stakeholder workshops and presentations to civic, community and business groups. A submission form can be found online at www.regionalreform.org.nz.

The first public meeting is in Carterton on April 3.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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