Coun­cil am­bi­tions for ac­tive con­ser­va­tion­ist

South Waikato News - - Out & About - LUKE KIRKEBY

Pas­sion for her com­mu­nity’s fu­ture has prompted South Waikato For­est and Bird chair Anne Groos to stand for the Toko­roa Ward seat in the up­com­ing lo­cal body elec­tions.

Groos, who has been based in Toko­roa for 30 odd years, be­lieves there are sev­eral com­mu­nity ‘‘needs’’ which she plans to ad­dress if elected.

She said her back­ground as a gov­ern­ment em­ployee for 16 years puts her in good stead for the job.

‘‘With the Leith Pl redevelopment we need proper toi­lets that are not wet through be­cause what are peo­ple go­ing to be judg­ing our town on?’’ she said.

‘‘If you go to Mata­mata they are beau­ti­ful and the ones in the dog in Ti­rau are too. But in Toko­roa the con­trac­tor goes through flat tack with a high pres­sure hose spray­ing ev­ery­thing be­cause the coun­cil has screwed the bud­get down so tight.’’

Groos, who is a con­ser­va­tion­ist at heart and an Old Blue Re­cip­i­ent for her 30 years of work in the field, said more also needs to be done to pro­tect the Blue Spring in Pu­taruru.

‘‘The Blue Spring is a nat­u­ral taonga but the large num­ber of peo­ple swim­ming there has re­sulted in the re­moval of aquatic weed which is home to many in­ver­te­brates and the rare na­tive dwarf galax­ias and other shy fish,’’ she said.

‘‘If peo­ple wish to swim in the cold wa­ter there are many other sites along the Te Wai­hou Walk­way, par­tic­u­larly from Whites Rd carpark, and there should be bet­ter sig­nage say­ing no swim­ming in the Blue Spring oth­er­wise it is go­ing to be lost for­ever, ‘‘ she said.

She said at­tract­ing tourists was also on her agenda.

‘‘Why do peo­ple go on about Toko­roa with this wild im­age? We are cul­tur­ally di­verse and we have lots of fun so it is a plus,’’ she said.

‘‘We need to en­cour­age tourism be­cause not ev­ery­one wants to go the big ci­ties,’’ she said.

‘‘We have great camp­ing ar­eas, walk and cy­cle­ways but we need more peo­ple to pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion through the likes of Airbnb and home host­ing, ‘‘she said.

Groos said she also plans to get rid of burnt build­ings and di­lap­i­dated houses and push for im­proved respite care, rest homes, and more pen­sioner hous­ing for the ag­ing pop­u­la­tion.

‘‘It is about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity and be­ing in­volved to make the South Waikato a bet­ter place to live,’’ she said.

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