Future for Local Governance update from South Wairarapa District Councillors

There has been recent media attention given to discussions about the future of governance in the Wairarapa. The South Wairarapa District Councillors wish to provide an update.

The working group is made up of elected representatives from the three Wairarapa councils. Some commentators have referred to this work as amalgamation, however, this is only one option that is currently being considered.

The South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) has two members on the joint Wairarapa council body, the Future for Local Governance working group, Deputy Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter and Cr Martin Bosley.

This working group is focussed broadly on three main issues:

  1. Representation and engagement
  2. Managing growth, adapting to change
  3. Driving efficiency in service delivery

Deputy Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter said, “As your local council, we would like to reassure you that first and foremost we are committed to finding the best outcomes for our community. We are committed to hearing your views – this has been strongly emphasised by SWDC Councillors at all discussions had to date. There will be public engagement on this at a suitable time which we will let you know of.

“SWDC has not made any clear decisions about direction at this stage, and we remain open minded about potential outcomes and designs for alternative governance structures. We are keen to have an effective analysis process that centres our communities’ views, weighs up the benefits and takes good account of the risks.

“We want to be careful and considered in our approach. We are aware that as elected representatives we have a mandate to make decisions on behalf of our community, and we do not take this responsibility lightly.

“As we make progress, we will continue to provide updates such as this.”

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