Richmond 'no suburb of Nelson'

Richmond leaders have struck back against Nelson councillor Pete Rainey's comments about the town being "just a suburb of Nelson".

Tasman councillor Judene Edgar wrote to the Nelson Mail giving the history of the town and rebutting Rainey's comments made last week.

"It is not a suburb of Nelson and has never been. It did not grow as a suburban extension of the Nelson residential area. It grew out of the Waimeas, the rural area. This is our history and it cannot be rewritten by councillor Rainey or anyone else," she said.

"It always amazes me when people equate a town to only a street or two.

"Similarly, Nelson is a lot more than Trafalgar Street in the same way that Richmond is more than Queen Street. It's also great that we have a diverse region with lots of different towns with different features and characteristics that people enjoy," Edgar said.

She said defining the status of Richmond in relation to Nelson could not be done by a poll as this would be like having a vote to decide whether an apple was actually a banana .

Edgar said Richmond's status as a town was a fact and therefore not open to opinion.

She rejected Rainey's comments about the retail aspect of Richmond as a defining aspect of the place.

"It is its parks and reserves, waterways, hills, walks, its community facilities, churches, schools, and yes, also its roads and shops, but more than its buildings and built infrastructure, it is the people that make a town a community - our history, culture, values and memories," she said.

Tasman district mayor Richard Kempthorne said he did not care what people thought the status of Richmond was.

"It is a really healthy place to be a retailer and it's a great place to come and shop.

"It's got a really good atmosphere for what's going on," he said.

Kempthorne said Nelson and Tasman needed to stay focused on how the whole region fitted together without trying to points score.

The Nelson Mail