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Mayors united in poll wish

Smiles all round, Lyn Patterson (left), Viv Napier and Russell Keys after meeting the LGC in Carterton yesterday. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE

By Don Farmer

[email protected]

The three district mayors are as one when it comes to what should happen next in the journey toward possible local government changes.

Lyn Patterson, Viv Napier and John Booth are united in their wish that the final proposal put forward by the Local Government Commission (LGC) goes to a referendum.

That way the people will have spoken and the outcome, whether it is to forge ahead with a single Wairarapa District Council or to reject it and stay with the status quo, will have been decided by ratepayers and residents, not politicians.

Masterton Mayor Mrs Patterson said, in the wake of a meeting called by the Commission yesterday to inform the councils’ of their decision, she personally believes the call for a combined council “is the right decision”.

“It would be the best outcome for the future of our region and really, when you think about it, this decision has been 28 years in the making and it’s time for the community to go with it.

“But for the sake of local democracy it has to go to a poll,” she said.

South Wairarapa mayor Viv Napier agreed saying whereas it was “good to get to this stage” it was imperative a poll was called for.

“The Commission has done its job and now it is up to the Wairarapa community to decide what they want,” Mrs Napier said.

Carterton mayor John Booth was not at yesterday’s meeting, having delegated his deputy Russell Keys to represent him, but spoke by telephone to the Times-Age after the meeting ended.

Mr Booth said he was confident Carterton would initiate a poll.

“I think it’s really important now that there is a poll and I am sure there will be.

“I know there is a group sitting there ready to do it.”

Likewise, he said, it was important for people to talk with their families, neighbours and friends about the issue of amalgamation.

Even college students should take an interest.

“It’s important for younger people to form an opinion and to have a view of the future.

“If this is to go ahead they are the ones who are going to be affected by it.”





  1. I would like to see the three Wairarapa councils remain as they are. Big is not good, look at Auckland and the European Union. Amalgamation goes hand in hand with the de-personalisation of communities. People become numbers and any so called benefits do not filter down to the people, but go towards the fat cats wages, trips and other rorts.

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