Fenton Wilson has denied claims the regional council, and him as the district's councillor, has been less than present in Wairoa.

At a meeting held on the Ruataniwha dam this week in the town, very few people turned out - which the regional council chairman and Wairoa councillor put down to a lack of advertising.

"I sort of felt let down," he said.

"I thought the town might have a bit more interest in the regional council full stop."


He did clarify that the council had discussed the Ruataniwha dam with people in Wairoa through its long term and annual plan consultation processes.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said councillors didn't bother turning up "because it doesn't really mean a hell of a lot to them, the dam".

"We are more concerned about our issues up here," he said.

"I'll be honest people just don't give a s*** about Wairoa. "

Wairoa District resident Dean Whaanga echoed these sentiments saying over the last two years with the waterway and forestry issues facing the district, people up there had become disillusioned with their regional body.

"They felt that when they were asking for so little [and] they were getting less in their opinion," he said.

"We don't raise flags, and in the past we have been relatively what I would call accommodating.

"But I think we are starting to come out of that and say, 'Hey we are still around, please pay a bit of attention to us'."

Several months ago Mr Little said he would support the dam if Wairoa got the same attention from the council.

"That was a joint statement that all the mayors put out and I said I would support it as long as we get the same attention that [lower] Hawke's Bay is getting," he said.

He said over the past two months he had been on their case "big time" over the forestry issues and the recent Waihi Dam disaster, and that while in the past they had been disappointed with the regional council, they were getting into a better place with them now.

"We are in a lot better place with them now. They are really starting to realise that maybe Wairoa has missed out a little bit," he said,

"Fenton actually said that he had been missing in action [but] he [has] really come on board now."

Mr Wilson said with amalgamation in the past - the whole region could work towards better outcomes together.

"Lets put these comments behind us and get on with great outcomes for Hawke's's Bay, starting at Wairoa," he said.

Mr Wilson said the regional council would be back soon through the annual plan process.

"I encourage everyone to come along, I encourage people to take an interest in what we do," he said.