Trans­port dis­cussed

Nga¯ kaikawenga ka ko¯ rerotia

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

A promis­ing new trans­port sys­tem needs to func­tion dis­trictwide when the wheels even­tu­ally start turn­ing.

That was the overwhelming mes­sage sent at a pub­lic meet­ing held in South Waikato District Coun­cil cham­bers.

More than 30 people from across the district packed the cham­bers on July 16 to dis­cuss the project’s fu­ture fol­low­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of $200,000 to­wards it from the $5 com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment fund.

Af­ter just 90 min­utes of de­bate the crowd es­tab­lished a nine- man steer­ing com­mitte that would over­see how that money is spent.

Bar­bara McGre­gor, Cather­ine Gros, Mick Jones, Lisa Bright, Mar­garet Emer­son, Majorie Roberts, Norm Barker, Gor­don Fuller and Akarere Henry will de­ter­mine the fu­ture of the lon­gawaited trans­port ser­vice.

Coun­cil com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Kerry Fabrie said the group would cre­ate a re­port for coun­cil ap­proval that showed in­for­ma­tion such as the cur­rent trans­port ser­vices avail­able.

They would then rec­om­mend a ser­vice that could be im­ple­mented in the South Waikato, she said.

Steer­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber Gor­don Fuller said they had a hard task. ‘‘I think the hopes of what they want is to sup­ply trans­port from Ti­rau, Pu­taruru and Toko­roa to the hospi­tal.

‘‘The trou­ble is to go all the way out to say Waotu to pick up one per­son and take them in to town is very costly.’’

He said the ideal so­lu­tion would in­volve col­lab­o­ra­tion to en­sure the ve­hi­cle was full when trav­el­ling out of Toko­roa.

Fuller, who has been in the trans­port in­dus­try for the past 22 years, said Toko­roa’s el­derly were el­i­gi­ble for half-price taxi fares so he saw them as pro­vided for. Those liv­ing out of town were the ones who re­ally need as­sis­tance, he said.

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