A com­mu­nity’s pas­sion fu­els trans­port ini­tia­tive

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

A res­i­dent-driven pub­lic trans­port ini­tia­tive has been ac­cel­er­ated by a $200,000 grant from the South Waikato District Coun­cil.

But that is as far as the coun­cil’s hand ex­tends.

The scop­ing project was one of the lucky sub­mis­sions to re­ceive fund­ing from the district’s $5 mil­lion fund but Mayor Neil Sin­clair be­lieved it should not be a coun­cil project.

‘‘If there is a trans­port sys­tem, it is not an area the coun­cil can run,’’ he said.

That has not stopped Sin­clair’s in­put of ideas.

‘‘I think one of the ar­eas we need to fo­cus on is the Toko­roa Hospi­tal and I think it needs to be used,’’ he said.

The Cook Is­land War­dens and the South Waikato liv­ing with­out vi­o­lence Trust also ap­plied for their own trans­port needs.

Pride in Pu­taruru put in a separ- ate bid for pub­lic trans­port.

A col­lab­o­ra­tive sub­mis­sion from sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions pre­sented their re­search and plans but were also de­nied the grant up front.

In­stead coun­cil wants to work with those who sub­mit­ted on the ven­ture in a scop­ing study to de­fine what is needed in the way of trans­port.

Akarere Henry, man­ager of South

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