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Funding for a flood zone

Featherston residents are rejoicing regarding the Budget announcement of funding to fix the flooding outside SuperValue supermarket, which has plagued the town for years.

SuperValue owner Dipen Patel said he is happy with the news.

“That’s so good that it’s being fixed at last. Everyone’s had trouble with that flooding,” he said.

South Wairarapa mayor Martin Connelly said that, after years of inaction, most locals had given up hope for a fix.

“It is a happy day, a brilliant day for every Featherstonian – except the kid in the gumboots who likes splashing in the puddle,” Connelly said.

“So many people have advocated for fixing this serious issue.”

Likewise, Metlink has confirmed it is pleased with the announcement that public transport will be free for under-13s and half-price for under-25s.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Daran Ponter said the move will make public transport more appealing and help families save money.

“Many people have been feeling a pinch in the pocket, so this will have a real impact on where people spend their money, how they get around and how they connect with each other,” Ponter said.

However, not all transport-related Budget announcements have been greeted with enthusiasm in the region, with confirmation that the government will reinstate the $528m-a-year fuel excise and road user charges from July receiving a resounding thumbs down.

Bringing back the fuel tax is another inflationary cost adding pressure to businesses, noted Reisima Haulage owner Graeme Reisima.

“Operators are desperately trying to keep costs down, but we’ll need to put our rates up to pay this extra tax.”

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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