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Mayor: Carterton perfect HQ

The modern Carterton Events Centre is just one reason councillors believe they are best suited for the central office. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE

By Chelsea Boyle

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Carterton Mayor John Booth says it is “logical” for the head office to be sited in the town if the Wairarapa councils amalgamate.

While the Local Government Commission did not nominate the location of a head office in its draft amalgamation proposal, it did favour Masterton by specifying that it would have the “principal public office”.

However, Masterton was always going to be open to a challenger because of the provision that the new council could shift this office.

Today, that contest will emerge if the Carterton District Council adopts its position statement in its meeting.

Councillors have prepared a position statement regarding how the amalgamation proposal “could be strengthened” to “better meet the needs of Carterton residents”.

The reasons for supporting a shift of the principal public office to Carterton are clearly outlined in the council’s position statement.

“It is important that people across the Wairarapa District feel that they can access the mayor and council.

“With the geographical size of the proposed district, a central location will be important both practically and symbolically.

“Serious consideration should be given to Carterton being the principal location of the mayor’s office and council chambers, because of its central geographical location.”

The position statement also stated that Carterton already had modern meeting facilities which could be used in part to meet the new council’s needs.

Mr Booth said it was about the facilities on offer in Carterton and its geographical location.

“We just think it’s logical.”

“I think it would be really good for Carterton to have it here.

“So many people across the area, not just from Carterton, have said to us, ‘we think Carterton should be the base for that’.”

It was not just coming from Carterton folk, it was coming from the wider area of Wairarapa, he said.

Mr Booth said the council did not yet have a position regarding whether it would support the proposed amalgamation.

“We looked at it [the draft proposal] and thought about how it could be made better,” he said.

“We wanted to start the balling rolling, it needs to be out there amongst the people.

“It just seems too quiet at the moment.”

This is not the only change the Carterton District Council would like to see in the draft amalgamation proposal.

The position statement noted that there was a high risk that Carterton issues would be overlooked when the new council considered its budgets and activities.

“For the model to be successful, the community boards must be supported by council resources, including both its budget and staff.

“We believe the proposal will be strengthened if there is specific provision made for each community board to have sufficient staff resources and budget allocated to enable them to operate and make decisions effectively.”

Carterton’s position statement fully supports the planned Maori Standing Committee and the establishment of a Rural Standing Committee under the amalgamation proposal.

The agenda stated that while the council had made note of amalgamation provisions that needed improvement, this statement did not indicate if the council would ultimately support the amalgamation.


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