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Regional Council notes

June 11, 2018 June2018, Regular Features No Comments

Wairarapa did itself proud recently in the way it responded to Greater Wellington Regional Council’s draft Long Term Plan and its Revenue and Financing Policy.  The Long Term Plan outlines GW’s projects and levels of service for the next ten years and the Revenue and Financing Policy dictates who pays and how it is apportioned.

Both documents proposed changes that potentially had major impacts for Wairarapa, in particular, new trains for our line and the way flood protection was rated for.  With only one representative at the council table it was imperative that people responded to make our voice heard and respond they did.

GWRC received three hundred and thirty eight submissions on its LTP with one hundred and nineteen coming from Wairarapa.  That’s pretty good considering we have only ten per cent of the region’s population.

When it came to the Revenue and Financing Policy though, we did even better.  From four hundred and twenty three submissions received, a massive three hundred and thirty four were from Wairarapa and South Wairarapa residents in particular were very vocal.

The results were however predictable.  There was almost no support for the proposed changes to the flood protection rate which would have seen Wairarapa residents paying considerably more but very good support for upgrading our trains.  There was qualified support for water storage and general support for investing in emergency preparedness so no surprises there.  Furthermore, because of the large number of submissions from our side of the hill, GW scheduled a full day of Hearings over here so that those who wished to speak to their submission did not have to travel to Wellington to do so.

The results show there is still democracy in local government.  Wairarapa spoke, GWRC listened and the proposed changes to the flood protection rate have been scrapped.  Let’s just hope the government comes to the party with its share of the finance for our new trains.

Adrienne Staples

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