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Staples holds deputy position for another term

Wairarapa Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] representative Adrienne Staples has been voted in as deputy chair for a second triennium.

She will be deputy to Daran Ponter, who was also chair last triennium.

Staples said in her acceptance speech that her heart was in Wairarapa.

“We have just made declarations to work as regional councillors making decisions that are best for the region, and I am happy to do that. I, without shame, bring a Wairarapa viewpoint to the table.”

She said she was representing 75 per cent of the region, but only ten per cent of its population.

Staples said she often represented a different perspective on the board.

“It is not right or wrong, it is different, and I make no apology for bringing that viewpoint to a largely metropolitan council.”

Ponter said the region was facing a large issue with climate change, and people did not need to look far to see extreme weather events.

He said in a climate-changing world assertive action was paramount.

“Despite nearly three-quarters of our region being rural, we essentially have a metropolitan outlook.

“In this triennium, we must double down on our understanding of the challenges facing the rural sector, and how a just transition with climate change and environmental outcomes can be achieved.”

Ponter said a partnership with mana whenua was the best opportunity to achieve better outcomes in the next triennium.

He said he wanted to give a greater effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi [the Treaty of Waitangi] through genuine and enduring relationships.

He said the council needed to direct population growth better, “we can no longer be idle bystanders to urban expansion”, and said large-scale water storage was off the table and regulation changes in those areas were unlikely.

“The recently completed water resilience strategy places an emphasis on small scale and more environmentally sympathetic water schemes, and we need to march in step.”

He also discussed the expansion of the public transport network, and giving better opportunities to drivers.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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