Wairarapa residents want to remain independent

Last updated 14:45 20/02/2013
Opinion poll

How should Wairarapa be governed?

Three separate district councils, as now

A unitary Wairarapa council, separate from Wellington

Part of a Wellington Super Council

Don't know

Don't care

Vote Result

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More than two thirds of the Wairarapa community feedback has supported a separate independent unitary authority for their region, according to the regional working party who are promoting the plan.

More than 1100 feedback forms were received on the proposed changes to the structure of local government in the Wairarapa.

Only a quarter of the respondents oppose the unitary option, but some of those prefer the status quo and other options rather than the proposed super city alternative.

Work is under way on analysing the results, so these can be factored into any future decisions taken by the three Wairarapa councils.

Chairwoman of the councils' working party, Lyn Patterson, says although the analysis process of the results is still continuing, some clear themes have emerged from the work already done.

"Many people have given very detailed answers to the questions we have posed and we already have a good indication of the issues which people want addressed," she says.

Of those in favour of a Wairarapa Unitary Authority, the majority do not want to be governed by Wellington and are concerned that a metropolitan council will not be best positioned to determine the future of a rural community, Mrs Patterson says.

"On the other hand, there is some concern that Wairarapa should not become isolated from our capital city, with the services and resources it can provide," Mrs Patterson says.

Some certainty around how the provision of a public transport system would be structured in the future would help to make future governance choices clearer.

A number of funding questions have been raised, she says.

The three councils' working party reported their initial findings to the Councils yesterday and are currently working on a more detailed analysis of the community response and the issues raised. Carterton holds the key - Page 2

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