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Amalgamation? No thanks

Wairarapa people have spoken, and they have decided it’s a big “no” to merging the three district councils into one.

Voting ended at midday today and results showed residents agreed the best way for Wairarapa to move forward was to keep the Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district councils operating as separate entities.

With an estimated 97 per cent of the votes counted, 59 per cent of those who voted opposed the proposal, 41 per cent supported it.

Early phone surveys conducted by the Local Government Commission indicated Carterton and South Wairarapa residents showed opposition to the proposal, whereas a majority of Masterton residents were in favour of amalgamation.

Commission Chair Sir Wira Gardiner thanked the public of the Wairarapa for their participation in the poll and the constructive nature of the debate that preceded it.

“Ever since the Commission began working with the communities, councils and iwi in the Wairarapa we have enjoyed a positive relationship. People have engaged with us in a constructive and welcoming manner.

“Notwithstanding today’s result, I believe that our work has highlighted the need for the three councils to find efficient ways to work together to deliver better, more cost-effective and resilient services for their ratepayers.

“Our involvement in local government matters and possible options for the communities of South Wairarapa, Carterton and Masterton has brought critical issues into focus and underlined the need for, and advantages of, collaborating to meet shared challenges.’’

Voting got off to an extremely slow start, but picked up in the final few days, with 43.45 per cent of eligible voters having sent in their votes before Monday.

Had the amalgamation gone ahead, it would have seen the three councils merge into a single Wairarapa District Council no earlier than November 2018, with residents needing to elect one mayor.


  1. There’s a helpful story in talking to a range of people who voted ‘no’ to find out why. My reason was about the lack of real representation for all ratepayers in the proposed plan. That, and the unlikely achievement of the ‘savings’ proposed in the planning support documents lead me to vote ‘no’.

  2. So… now we’ve voted and had our say, do we now wait for Winston or his delegate Ron Marks to tell us what the result is?

  3. now that the decision has been made by the people true democracy has spoken..it is time those councillors that we have voted in come out of the shadows where they have been hiding and do the job of representing their constituents…at the next election we should also vote out those who supported this proposal and caused us great angst

  4. Hooray! I love our Carterton Council. So nice to have a friendly responsive council team. As opposed to large unhelpful bureaucracies such as the one the poor Aucklanders are saddled with.

  5. Parochialism at it’s best – the Wairarapa will never improve.
    People should never have been given a vote – they should simply have been told what was happening.

  6. Give us a refund for all your unrequired time and efforts Mr Gardiner, talk about wastefulness, you and your bunch are the biggest bunch of wasters to ever set foot in the Wairarapa, good riddance!

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