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Rotary Club of South Wairarapa

October 14, 2019 October 2019 No Comments

A highlight of August for the Rotary Club of South Wairarapa is picking daffodils to be sold on Daffodil Day. Alastair and Jacqui Sutherland of Whangaiomoana have a large field of daffodils which they donate to this worthy cause. Rotarians friends and family all join in to pick the flowers, and this year we had a gloriously fine day and picked them in record time. Afterwards we had the opportunity to chat over morning tea.

Earlier in the month we had a combined meeting with the Lions Club of Martinborough to hear Harry Wilson, the new CEO of the South Wairarapa District Council. We had a good attendance as people were very interested to meet him and hear what he had to say.

He started by saying that councils are about people and need to be part of the community. He acknowledged that there is a lot of work to do in this area. He then spoke about his varied career, starting with obtaining a certificate in shearing and becoming a shearer and shepherd. He would have liked to be a farmer but there were no openings available that that time

 He then became recreation officer at the IHC and focussed on putting the disabled people in touch with people who ran the activities that they were interested in. After that he worked in a variety of managerial positions in central and local government, most recently with the Land Transport Authority.

He said the biggest challenge in the Wairarapa was how to balance development, protecting the environment, retaining local character and avoiding developer led growth which has occurred in other places with disastrous results. A large part of council work is managing assets and it is necessary to manage resources really well and to engage the community.

When asked how he felt about growth showing signs of outstripping the capacity of our infrastructure, Harry said that this is what the spatial plan is for in order to balance public and private interests and including heritage, amenities and infrastructure.

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