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Support grows for pound


South Wairarapa has a dog pound project at the former Featherston Golf Course. PHOTO/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

South Wairarapa’s elected members have emphasised their support for a Featherston dog pound.

At the recent Assets and Services Committee meeting, progress on the facility was discussed, with councillors commending the work done by council staff to progress the project at the former Featherston Golf Course.

Carterton District Council recently directed its chief executive to reopen talks with Masterton and South Wairarapa councils on a shared facility.

But South Wairarapa District Council environmental services manager Rick Mead said he had received “no communications from anyone in regard to beyond what we’re doing with our pound”.

“I think at the end of the day, this council has to decide, do we keep going back and forward on where you want the pound to go, or have you decided — which is the clear indication I have had in the last 12 months — that we’ve decided to go and invest time and effort to look at our solution,” he said.

“We are down the track to where we are now engaging with suppliers.

“I think what we are doing is both innovative and cost-effective for the ratepayers of South Wairarapa.”

Councillor Colin Olds asked Mead whether the Featherston pound would still be achieved within the $340,000 budget.

No direct answer was given to this.

“I think you’ve got to realise the context of the environment you are currently in,” Mead said.

“You’re running at an inflation rate of 6-7 per cent. You’re also running 16-20 per cent in increased construction materials costs on a month-by-month basis

“This is a moving bus on a constant basis.

“Please be assured that we are borrowing heavily in terms of our favours from suppliers, getting them to buy into what we are wanting to do.

“And we are getting absolutely brilliant support from our local suppliers and those that are invested in our idea.”

Councillor Brenda West asked what the benefit would be in creating a joint facility with another council.

“What would it cost for us to turn tail and join with another council – and is it worth it at this late stage?”

Mead said the issue of whether Wairarapa needed three pounds was “the same argument as whether we need three councils”.

“The current state of play is even if you took the dramatic view of Masterton having the only one, South Wairarapa would still have to have some sort of holding pen to hold dogs outside of hours.” –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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