Tirau to remain separate
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.’’