MEDIA RELEASE: Joint committee to lead Wairarapa’s recovery

22 May 2020

The three Wairarapa councils have agreed to form a joint committee to lead the region’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19. The decisions were taken at extraordinary meetings held by each council yesterday. Membership of the committee will include the three mayors, a senior official from each council, and representation from each iwi.

South Wairarapa Mayor believes the recovery will be stronger if the districts work together.

“Wairarapa won’t necessarily be a priority for Central Government. We need strong leadership and collaboration to give us the best chance of accessing the funding and support available from any Government recovery initiatives.

“We’ll also need to develop and implement our own initiatives specific to the needs of our communities,” says Mr Beijen.

The operational response will be led by Dave Gittings from Carterton District Council in his continuing role as Response Manager.

As stated in the Council paper:

“A Recovery Plan should be developed to ensure the needs of our people, businesses and community are understood and being addressed in parallel with and complementary to the recovery plan developed under Ko Wairarapa Tēnei.

The Councils, social service providers, Destination Wairarapa, Wellington NZ, businesses, iwi and others all will have a part to play in Wairarapa’s recovery. Bringing all the different strands together and making sure no one or no sector falls through the cracks requires leadership oversight.

Any recovery plan for Wairarapa will need to cushion the impacts (predominantly social and economic, and to a lesser extent cultural, in its widest sense, and environmental impacts) and enable a recovery that is productive, inclusive and sustainable (i.e. if we are to be aspirational and to “take advantage” of the COVID-19 situation; better than what we have ever had – a reimagined future).”

Also at SWDC’s extraordinary meeting, Council noted that the Emergency Committee and Chief Executive emergency delegation arrangements for Covid-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 are no longer operational, but would be again should there be a return to those levels within this triennium. The decision was also made to reinstate Council committees and subcommittees to operate during Levels 1 and 2, but, with the exception of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, suspend them again if there is a return to Levels 3 and 4. 

ENDS

South Wairarapa District Council