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Regional Council notes

October 15, 2020 October 2020 No Comments

The Greater Wellington Region is large and diverse which presents challenges for its regional council.  Wairarapa, approximately seventy five per cent of the region, is rural/provincial New Zealand with large tracts of farmland, uninhabited bush covered mountain ranges and a sparse population largely concentrated in four townships.  We have a long rugged, exposed coastline, a major river that runs nearly the whole distance of the valley, cumulating in two lakes before running out to sea.

Compare that with the largely metropolitan areas on the other side of the Remutaka Ranges and you easily see the contrast between us.  Certainly there are areas of farmland, bush and rivers but the makeup is vastly different, especially when it comes to population and even our climate is different. 

          These contrasts make for some robust debates around the table as councillor’s priorities are varied and distinct.  Most of the Regional councillors live in the city and while they claim to understand rural life, it is quite obvious that they don’t.  

Over here I’m unlikely to be called about electric double deckers, e scooters and bikes on buses.  I’m far more likely to hear about rabbit numbers being at plague levels and why can’t we have more trains?  Water is a very common topic in the Wairarapa.  Either too much of it – flooding; or not enough – drought.

You see life is very different here compared with Wellington and that’s how we like it.  It’s why we live ‘over the hill’.  Sure it would be nice to have some of the bells and whistles of living in a big city and more trains is definitely up there on the wish list.  For the most part though, we don’t want politicians micro-managing our lives.  Why should we feel guilty driving a Hilux or Ranger when EVs don’t have the range for the distances we travel or the capability for the work we do? Meat is still on the menu for most, tea with milk is commonplace and it’s not unusual to own a gun.

People want to get on and run their farms, businesses and organisations without interference from government or councils and we all know that regulation often stifles innovation.

Adrienne Staples

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