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Crier making a comeback

Masterton District Council is going “back to basics” to get the message out about its Long-Term Plan this year.

Senior communications advisor Steve Rendle will don an old-timey get-up, complete with coat and jabot [ornamental frill or ruffle], as he rings a bell up and down Masterton’s Queen St to encourage people to make a submission during the consultation period, which starts today.

The advisor-turned-town crier said council staff have been busy getting the consultation document over the line and “this has been the best part of that process so far”.

As he posed in front of the Masterton town hall, which is one of the consultation items in the plan, Rendle said he likes “a bit of dress up”.

“I did have my wife’s jacket, but people thought I could go up a level,” he said.

The coat and jabot had been hired from the Masterton Theatre Company, but the rest of the outfit is his own, Rendle said.

“We want to use every possible means to get people interested in the Long-Term Plan, and public broadcast communication started with town criers.

“We’re also doing the online digital stuff and Antenno messages to encourage people to get on board and have their say.”

Rendle said over the next four weeks of the consultation period, he will aim to get out and about at least once a week with the outfit and bell, which he borrowed from councillor Tim Nelson, who is the principal of Lakeview School.

-NZLDR
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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