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Elected members visit Southern communities.


Elected members from Westland District Council spent two intense days visiting the Southern parts of the district over 15 to 16 March. Their tour included meetings with local community representatives in Ross, Hari Hari, Whataroa, Okarito, Franz Josef and Haast.

“A trip like this is incredibly beneficial for the team,” advises Mayor Helen Lash. “It is extremely informative, especially for Councillors whose home area is in the Northern part of the district and who may not be familiar with what the community owns down South. We viewed all assets that Council and the communities fund and own - water treatment plants, community halls, public toilet and all waste facilities, cemeteries, wharves and airports.  We also viewed roading, drainage and bridge issues, and footpaths. Having the applicable staff on site enabled easy question and answer sessions. It was also an excellent opportunity to meet with local community groups and to discuss their issues and aspirations for their communities.

Overall, as a council, a trip such as this allows us a better discussion at the council table and enables us to make informed decisions – this is so relevant and important.

We were very lucky with the weather on the first day of the trip, and not so on the second day. Being welcomed onto the Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae at Bruce Bay on Thursday evening was a real highlight. Having recently undergone extensive renovations, the Marae is stunning and a real jewel in the crown for the local Runanga who hosted us for an evening meal on Thursday.

Unfortunately due to the impending weather event and the state of the weather at the time, we called the tour off mid evening on Thursday night and bolted back to Hokitika. Because Civil Defence controllers were with us, we needed to ensure we had everyone based in the right areas should the forecast weather impact eventuate.

Due to the sudden departure from Fox Glacier, we missed the planned asset site visits and community interaction and we will be returning there within the next month or two to complete those.”


Media enquiries to:

Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor