Ti­rau to re­main sep­a­rate

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Democ­racy has won out in the South Waikato.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil tossed its orig­i­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tion re­view pro­posal out the win­dow af­ter re­ceiv­ing over­whelm­ing op­po­si­tion from Ti­rau, the town that would have in­evitably been af­fected most.

The orig­i­nal pro­posal, made public in May, sug­gested merg­ing the Ti­rau and Pu­taruru wards to­gether and in the process, abol­ish­ing the Ti­rau Com­mu­nity Board. There was also talk Ti­rau wanted to join the Mata­mata-Pi­ako dis­trict.

Op­po­si­tion, that came in the form of more than 35 sub­mis­sions, was fierce and con­vinc­ing.

In an ex­tra-or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing held in coun­cil cham­bers on June 25 a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion was made to keep the sta­tus quo: 10 coun­cil­lors, three wards and one com­mu­nity board.

Seven peo­ple spoke to their sub­mis­sions, in­clud­ing Ti­rau Com­mu­nity Board chair­woman Cas­san­dra Robin­son and coun­cil­lor Terry Mag­ill.

Robin­son, who spoke pas­sion­ately about Ti­rau’s right to rep­re­sen­ta­tion, said she was rapt with the re­sult. ‘‘I wasn’t sure what to ex­pect but I cer­tainly hoped for this.’’

Mag­ill couldn’t have agreed more. ‘‘I’m pleased with the out­come and I think it shows that with­out the mo­ti­vated Ti­rau peo­ple this re­sult could have been a lot dif­fer­ent.’’

The unan­i­mous vote was a pleas­ing but emo­tional out­come for Mag­ill, who was orig­i­nally dis­heart­ened by the way his sub­mis­sion had been read and re­ceived. ‘‘I have to take my hat off to my fel­low coun­cil­lors . . . I’m hum­bled.’’

Coun­cil­lor Adri­enne Bell put for­ward the sta­tus quo mo­tion, which was sec­onded by coun­cil­lor Thomas Lee.

Sixty two sub­mis­sions were re­ceived, with more than 60 per cent of those against the changes to the ward struc­ture and com­mu­nity board.

Coun­cil­lor Lee said it was a process that needed to hap­pen, but he was glad the peo­ple had been heard.

Coun­cil­lor Marin Glu­cina agreed. ‘‘I think that as a coun­cil we flew a kite, and a big shot­gun came out and shot it out of the sky and so we go back to what we had; that’s the com­mu­nity, they shot it out of the sky.’’

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