Limited banking services were again raised at Wednesday's Tararua District Council meeting.
At the February meeting of the council mayor Tracey Collis said she was collating information to provide an understanding of the impact on the district's communities of bank closures, reduced trading hours and the phasing out of cheques.
This was to enable concerned residents and businesses to share their challenges in banking to help the council advocate to keep banking services in the district's towns.
Mayors from rural and provincial councils have written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern conveying their concerns about the loss of banking services and urging the Government to consider setting up a formal inquiry into the impact of branch closures.
Cr Shirley Hull asked if the mayor had received a response from the Prime Minister.
Collis said she had attended a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and had a conversation around a banking hub and had a similar conversation with Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty.
Hull said the closure of banks had left Pahiatua with no banks.
She said it would be interesting to see the impact the banking changes had on the elderly.
"I am really quite concerned about this. We need to keep the pressure on."
She said her mother-in-law did not have a computer or a smartphone so if she had any problems she had to visit her bank.
"If there are no banks then that is going to cause a bit of stress."
She said there was a large turnover of properties in the district and consequently many people seeking finance.
"People in Pahiatua are being directed to Palmerston North for banking appointments. Some people living in Makuri were directed to Palmerston North to see a bank manager.
That's a journey of an hour and 15 minutes each way and that's going to cause stress."
Councillor Sharon Wards said the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce had sent out a survey to members to gauge the impact locally of the banking changes.
Collis said she was looking forward to learning the results of that survey.
The responses she had received from the public were from different levels of the community, including some from the elderly.
"We need to understand the impacts of these changes."
Hull asked if the survey could be sent to the Pahiatua Chamber of Commerce.
Council's economic development and communications manager Mark Maxwell said the survey was only sent out to chamber members but they were asked to distribute it widely throughout the district.
He said he would be happy for the survey to be passed on.
Collis said the banking changes were certainly an issue for her. "There are very limited banking services available in the district so we need to have this in the front of our minds."
Another issue raised at the meeting pertained to obtain building permits.
A report on the council's building services revealed consented building work during February was to the value of $3.5 million and that applications to consent new housing were continuing to increase.
The report said the council had begun forwarding applications to its contractor to process remotely, however, ongoing significant demand meant improvement in processing times was likely to be gradual.
Wards voiced concern at the length of time people were waiting for permits.
Collis acknowledged people's patience over the delays which needed to be widely publicised.