Board shuts shop with warning
IT’S a wrap.
The Matamata Community Board – along with its Morrinsville and Te Aroha counterparts – was officially wound up following the election on Saturday.
Outgoing chairman Daryl Anderson said the Matamata community would increasingly need to fend for itself in the future.
‘‘I am concerned about the future representation of Matamata,’’ he said.
‘‘I haven’t yet seen, in my time on the community board, ward councillors having the time to advocate for Matamata as a community, outside of their responsibilities to Matamata-Piako as a whole,’’ he said.
‘‘I think councillors do a great job, I have never said otherwise, but they have their responsibilities as ward councillors and they have to carry that out.
‘‘Our sole responsibility was the community of Matamata.’’
It was now up to local organisations to step in and advocate for Matamata on council matters, he said.
‘‘We need to make sure Matamata gets our fair share of resources as compared to other wards in the district.
‘‘What’s that saying? The squeaky door gets the oil?’’
If Matamata-Piako was to become part of a larger amalgamated council in future, there would be even more need for local advocacy, he said.
Outgoing member Kevin Tappin, who narrowly missed out on a seat on the council, said organisations such as the Matamata Business Association and the Public Relations Association could step into the space left by the board.
‘‘Those people are there on the coal face and have the ear of the council,’’ he said.
Over his three-year term on the board, Mr Tappin had up to five people a week coming to him with community matters.
Often people had questions about council processes or decisions and found it intimidating to approach council directly, he said.
Mr Anderson was immensely proud of the projects the board had taken on over the years.
‘‘For having a limited amount of opportunity, we have been able to achieve a great amount of good for the community.
‘‘We are so thankful to have had that opportunity.’’
Mr Anderson wrapped up three terms on the board, while Robin Burr completed four and Tina Berg one.