Tirau residents support single ward for area
A clear message has been sent to the local authority – a majority want Tirau to remain its own ward with its own community board.
Submissions for the 2016 Representation Review have been tallied and the results are not favouring the proposal released by the South Waikato District Council.
The council suggested that the district move from three wards to two, in effect merging the Tirau and Putaruru Wards together. It suggested that the total number of councillors stay the same, but that the ‘‘North’’ ward consist of four councillors as opposed to the current three for Putaruru and one for Tirau.
There would be no financial savings in the merger, but council reasoned that it could provide better representation for the area, with the potential for a catchment like Tirau to have four people with a vested interest in the area, sit on council.
The proposal also suggested the disestablishment of the Tirau Community Board (TCB).
Lee’ – Councillor Thomas Council received 61 submissions – more than 60 per cent of which were against both the merger of the wards and the loss of the TCB.
That was roughly half the number that submitted on the council’s Long Term Plan.
But Tirau councillor Terry Magill said he was impressed with the level of participation.
‘‘There were a high number of submitters. Considering the number that turned up to the public meetings, I wouldn’t have expected that number.’’
Magill strongly recommended the council keep the status quo in his submission and said he was pleased to see so many others had spoken up.
‘‘I’m comforted by those [ submission] figures that show a clear majority of people wanting the status quo.’’
Magill is one of seven submitters who have indicated they wish to speak to their submission during hearings and deliberations on June 25.
‘‘I will get my 15 minutes along with everyone else,’’ Magill said.
Tokoroa councillor Thomas Lee said he felt the submissions were an accurate reflection of the issues.
He said he had spent time in Tirau explaining the proposal to residents and encouraging them to have their say.
‘‘ A lot of people who thought they didn’t need to submit actually took a form home and decided to submit, once they realised how it was going to affect them.’’
He said the deliberations will be interesting.
‘‘ Let us hope the rate- payers’ voices are heard.’’
From the 15 submitters who agreed the best option was to merge the Putaruru and Tirau wards together, ward names put forward included North and South, Mighty River and Mighty River South, Upper and Lower while two submitters suggested names.
Council will release the second representation proposal on July 15 and if there are no appeals it will be published by August 17.
If there are appeals it will be referred to the Local Government Commission.
A lot of people who thought they didn’t need to submit actually took a form home and decided to submit, once they realised how it was going to affect
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