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Otago regional council candidates’ meeting for Cromwell

Otago regional council candidates’ meeting for Cromwell

Central Otago district mayor Tony Lepper has publicly stated that “it’s the bigger local election” but, despite that, no separate meetings for Otago regional council candidates have been arranged.

Until now. Cromwell’s only candidate for the regional council, Michael Laws, has organised five public meetings in the Dunstan district.

The Cromwell meeting will be hosted this Thursday evening at the Central Otago polytechnic in Erris Street. The meeting will start at 7pm.

Mr Laws said that he had arranged the meetings “because there was no real opportunity for the community to engage with, or question, regional candidates.”

“And the regional issues confronting Cromwell and the Dunstan ward are huge. I doubt there has been a more important three years in the Otago regional council’s history, than the next three years.”

The Otago Regional Council is the second largest in New Zealand. It hosts 220,000 people and runs from the Waitaki River in the north, to the Catlins in the south, to St Clair beach (and Dunedin) to the east, and the Southern Alps to the east.

Mr Laws said that he had invited the other candidates – incumbents Gary Kelliher (Springvale), Gerry Kelliher (Ranfurly), Graeme Bell (Alexandra) as well as Maggie Lawton (Wanaka). So far, only Maggie Lawton has confirmed that she will attend all meetings, including the Cromwell one.

“ These meetings are not just talkfests,” says Mr Laws. “They’re opportunities also to listen, and be informed, by local communities. I hope Cromwell people take that opportunity this Thursday evening. It is the first of the regional meetings – and that’s absolutely fitting.”


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