Jenna Matchett at the Masterton Foodbank PHOTO/FILE

Grace Prior
grace.prior@age.co.nz

Jenna and Mark Matchett, and Lacey and Tim Bourne’s petition to review South Wairarapa District Council’s rates increase has reached over 1000 signatures. But they’re pushing for more.

Jenna Matchett said there were about 10,000 ratepayers in South Wairarapa, they hoped half would sign the petition.

“I think more than half of them would want to sign it if they knew it was out there.”

Matchett said many New Zealanders were working class people who didn’t have a “lump of cash behind them”.

“They’ll be finding lockdown hard enough without worrying about their rates bill,”

She said they were concerned that people thought they had to live in South Wairarapa to sign, or that only one person could sign per household.

“If it can happen in our council, it can happen anywhere.”

“We need the support of people to help us to fix this – or to at least put a really good plan in place with a much longer vision.”

The group criticised the council for having a short-sighted view on rates and its impact on the community. They also worried South Wairarapa would become unaffordable to some of its most vulnerable residents.

Matchett said once covid-19 restrictions allowed, they would be taking to the streets and door knocking to get signatures.

Paper copies of the petition can be found at some cafes, or online at www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_115623/petition-of-jenna-mark-matchett-and-lacey-tim-bourne.

The petition is open to sign until September 26.



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