In an unprecedented small-town move, Wairoa leaders marched on Parliament earlier this month to tell politicians that Wellington had forgotten about them and that they can solve their own problems from now on, thanks. So can the struggling town turn itself around from within? Laura Wiltshire reports.

"If you can launch a rocket from Wairoa, you can do anything."

Those are the words of Wairoa District Council CEO Steven May.

They portray a sense of optimism local leaders have about the northern Hawke's Bay town, which has a population of 4300, despite some of the negative statistics associated with the