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Amalgamation – what's in it for Otaki?

Amalgamation – what's in it for Otaki?

Otaki – a vibrant contributor to a big Wellington council or a forgotten outpost?

Fran Wilde and K (Guru) Gurunathan will discuss at a public meeting in Otaki on Tuesday, February 24, what Otaki could look forward to in a proposed amalgamation of Kapiti Coast with eight other councils in the Wellington region.

Fran is chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council and a strong advocate of the Wellington region's councils merging to form a large council. Guru, a Kapiti Coast District councillor, is skeptical of the merger.

Will Otaki, as the town farthest north in a proposed merger, be able to retain any kind of local governance? Will it benefit by being part of a large council that has the clout to advocate on its behalf to central government, or attract facilities that would never be possible as part of Kapiti alone?

Ian Carson, who is chair of the Otaki Promotions Group, which has organised the meeting, says the issue is important for Otaki.

“We have fantastic natural assets, a vibrant shopping district and events that attract international participants and visitors, such as the Otaki Kite Festival and Maoriland Film Festival,” he says. “We want to ensure we build on our attributes and get the best outcomes for our community.

“The amalgamation debate is important, and with submissions to the Local Government Commission on the current proposal closing on March 2, this meeting might be the last chance for people to make up their mind.”

• The meeting is 6.30pm, Tuesday February 24, at Otaki Golf Club, Old Coach Rd, Otaki. All welcome.


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