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Pleased about extra week for consultation

FEDERATED Farmers has welcomed the district council's decision to extend the consultation period for the representation review.

They intend to keep pushing for rural people to have their say about the review.

The consultation period has been extended by one week to Friday, September 24, to provide more time for people to make submissions on what general and Maori wards will look like for the 2022 and 2025 elections.

“Covid has thrown a spanner in the works for everything and we did not believe our request for an extension was asking too much,” Federated Farmers provincial president Toby Williams said.

“With advice from our policy staff that there was no legislative reason preventing an extension being granted, we continued to hold hope the council would change their mind and we are grateful the GDC has extended this part of the consultation process.

“We had hoped the extension would coincide with a move to Alert Level 1,” Mr Williams said. “However, this now seems unlikely.

“We have had to change tack and utilise our networks to encourage people to get involved and support the retention of dedicated rural wards.

“With the extension we intend to keep pushing our message and drumming up support.

“It would have been great to get out into the community but given the current guidelines we do not believe we can and keep everyone safe.”

Mr Williams said the extension also coincided with the discovery of some issues with NZ Post getting surveys out to some rural residents.

“The extension has meant that with the help of councillor Pat Seymour we have been able to get the surveys redelivered and people will have a little more time to get them filled in and returned.”