Waitara residents stood up

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 17/06/2014

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A group of Waitara residents who braved the wintry weather in hopes of a hearty chat with the mayor last night were annoyed to be told the meeting was cancelled.

About 20 residents gathered outside the memorial hall for a "community conversation", scheduled for a 7pm start. But after 30 minutes of waiting in the pouring rain, residents started to worry and one set off to the library, thinking they had the wrong venue.

Another then rang Councillor Colin Johnston and was informed the meeting had been cancelled.

Outraged resident Fiona Clark said she had written to the New Plymouth District Council on June 12 to check the meeting was still happening.

She received an email confirming the meeting.

"It's very disappointing," Clark said.

Fellow resident Janice Liddle emailed the Taranaki Daily News, saying residents had "braved the rain and cold wind" in anticipation of a meeting.

"After about 30 minutes, we were told the meeting had been cancelled," she said.

"No reason was given."

Johnston said he was not aware people had turned up for the meeting until he received a call at 7.15pm.

He said he would follow up on the matter today and apologised to the residents who had to stand in the foul weather.

Johnston said the meeting had been taken out of both his and Mayor Andrew Judd's diaries.

"Unfortunately, I'm not sure until I find out tomorrow [today] what had happened," Johnston said.

He contacted Judd who was aware the meeting had been cancelled.

"It's unfortunate with a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line," Johnston said.

He believed the meeting was cancelled to allow more time to prepare the correct documents and information regarding the Waitara leasehold land.

"They just want to make sure they have their facts right to be able to report," he said.

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