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Media Centre

You can find all our media releases, and other information useful for journalists, below.

For more information please contact our Communications team on 027 543 6635 or by emailing [email protected]

About Masterton District Council

Masterton District Council is the northernmost council in the Wellington region. Our purpose is to enable democratic local decision-making in the local community and meet the current and future needs for good-quality infrastructure, community wellbeing, local public services and performance of regulatory functions in a cost-effective way.

It means we set the strategic direction for the district in partnership with the local community, determine services that Council needs to undertake and manage networks and community infrastructure such as roads, water supply and waste management.

Our Council is made up of eleven elected representatives. We also have two iwi representatives who sit on council subcommittees.

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Media releases

Masterton Mayor joins MP in urging speed rethink

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell and Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty are asking Waka Kotahi to reconsider its decision to impose an 80km/h speed limit on the open stretches of road on State Highway 2 between Carterton and Featherston.

Dog park up for discussion

Masterton District Council will next month consider making land available at Henley Lake for a fenced dog park.  

Call for members – Masterton Retailers’ Business Group

Masterton District Council is now inviting interested businesses in Masterton to join a new Retailers’ Business Group being set up to help address challenges around antisocial behaviour and to help bring back vibrancy and positivity to the Masterton CBD.

First celebration of Holi a success

Around 80 people gathered at Solway School on Saturday for the very colourful Hindu festival of Holi, celebrated for what is thought to be the first time in Wairarapa.

Water restrictions lifted

A sodden February has allowed Masterton District Councl to lift all water restrictions heading into the official start of autumn tomorrow, 1 March.

Call for Climate Advisory Group members

Masterton District Council is calling for passionate climate advocates to apply to become members of its new Climate Advisory Group, the first initiative in its Climate Action Plan, adopted last year.

New Prime Minister urged to re-think Three Waters reform

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell is 100 per cent behind calls from Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori (C4LD) for new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins to seize the opportunity to amend Three Waters reform proposals.

Masterton retailers’ business group to be formed

Masterton District Council is leading the formation of a retailer’s business group to provide support within the retail community for some of the challenges it has been experiencing around antisocial behaviour.

Water restrictions introduced for Masterton

Low flow levels in the Waingawa River, the source of Masterton’s drinking water have forced Masterton District Council to introduce water restrictions for the first time this summer.

General waste fee increase to meet increased cost of disposal

Fees for general waste disposed of at Masterton District Council’s Nursery Road transfer station will increase from 1 February to reflect an increase in the cost of waste disposal at the Bonny Glen Landfill near Marton, the final destination for general waste.

Learners’ pool closed due to safety concerns

Masterton District Council has closed the small learners’ pool at the rear of the Trust House Recreation Centre today due to safety concerns after roofing was found damaged.

Working Group to report to Council on Civic Facility

The independent working group tasked with preparing a review of the rationale for the progression of the Masterton District Council Civic Facility project will present their report at the Council’s 14 December meeting.

New Masterton District Council Progress Results Released

Masterton District Council has today released progress results for its newly elected Council, following this year’s Local Elections. They are: Mayor: Gary Caffell Masterton Whakaoriori General Ward Councillors: Bex Johnson, Tom Hullena, Tim Nelson, and Craig Bowyer....

Council grants top $200,000

Masterton District Council has allocated more than $200,000 in Community Wellbeing and Community Events grants. A total of 36 applications were received for Community Wellbeing grants, totalling $297,812 from a budget of $130,102. The Council’s Awards and Grants...

Adoption of draft Wairarapa Combined District Plan imminent

The Combined Wairarapa District Plan Review Process will celebrate an important milestone next week. On Wednesday 15 September, the Draft District Plan will be adopted by the Joint Committee, which marks the end of the initial research and scoping phase.

New Waipoua bridge a spectacular addition to recreation trail

6 September 2022 The opening of the new Whitipoua walking and cycling bridge across the Waipoua River today (6 September) adds a spectacular physical and cultural asset to the Waipoua recreation trail. Masterton District Council approved construction of the bridge in...

Colombo Road bridge – temporary closure

The Colombo Road bridge over the Waipoua River will be closed entirely on Monday and Tuesday next week, 22-23 August, as work starts on replacement of the southbound side of the bridge.

How should Masterton spend $3.88 million?

Masterton District Council is asking residents how it should spend $3.88 million in funding being offered by the Government as part of the ‘Better Off’ support package in the Three Waters Reforms.


Kia ora! We are pleased to advise on the next steps for the new bridge over the Waipoua River. Building will commence as of Monday 18 July with an estimated build time of 4-5 weeks to completion.

Ombudsman’s findings welcomed

The Ombudsman has rejected complaints that Masterton District Council’s public consultation about financing the Civic Facility was flawed and not compliant with Local Government Act 2002.

Climate Action Plan consultation opens

Masterton District Council has begun consultation on its Climate Action plan, with three different options available for people wanting to have their say on one of the most pressing issues facing our District.

Civic Facility Working Group appointments named

1 July 2022 Masterton District Council has confirmed an independent Chair and an independent community representative for its Civic Facility Working Group following the adoption of the 2022/23 Annual Plan. Ian Collier, JP, has been named as Chair, and Rachael Dean,...

Toilets and viewing platform for Lansdowne trail

A grant of nearly $238,750 from the Toursim Infrastructure Fund will enable construction of toilets and a wetland viewing platform on the Lansdowne Trail, near new the new mountain bike park, currently under construction.

Follow the stars for Matariki

Masterton District Council is inviting applications from groups and individuals planning community events for Matariki, offering grants of up to $500 to help organisers, and planning a map of events running from 20-26 June.

New temporary home for Wairarapa Archive

Wairarapa Archive’s staff and collection will be brought back under one roof, with a new temporary location for the Archive secured in Albert Street, Masterton.

Healthy submissions on more housing at Panama Village

Nearly 30 submissions have been received in the first two weeks of Masterton District Council’s consultation on amending the Long-Term Plan 2021-31, to progress plans to build more housing on the vacant land at Panama Village.

Water restrictions lifted

Masterton District Council has lifted garden watering restrictions introduced on 3 January.

Tenders invited for key Civic Facility roles

Masterton District Council is calling for tenders for four more key roles in the Civic Facility project, a structural engineering consultant, a mechanical, electrical and hydraulics consultant, a civil engineering consultant, and a fire engineer.

First Civic Facility Steering Committee meeting

The first Civic Facility Steering Committee took place on Wednesday 9 March, with a focus on options for our potential future site on the council-owned land surrounding the Trust House Recreation Centre.

Emergency discharge of treated wastewater

Unprecedented flows to the Homebush Wastewater Treatment Plant, caused by high levels of groundwater after recent storms, have forced Masterton District Council to carry out an emergency discharge of treated wastewater to the Ruamahanga River.

Skatepark ready for action

Masterton’s revamped skatepark is open for action after completion of its revamp, funded with $1.3 million from the Government’s Provincial Development Unit, and $300,000 from Masterton District Council.

Water restrictions eased

The long weekend’s wet weather has enabled Masterton District Council to ease water restrictions to allow garden sprinklers to again be used on alternate days.

Pool inspections underway

Masterton District Council has begun inspecting private swimming pools, as required by law, to ensure access is restricted, to keep children safe.

No Waifest in 2022

Masterton District Council has reluctantly decided that it is unfeasible to hold Waifest this year, in the current Covid-19 environment.

Rain allows water restriction to be eased

Overnight rain has raised the level of the Waingawa River, enabling Masterton District Council to ease water restrictions to allow sprinklers to be used on alternate days.

Sprinkler ban introduced

Masterton District Council has introduced further water restrictions following continued dry conditions. Sprinkler use is banned – only hand-held hoses may be used. Restrictions are linked to flow levels in the Waingawa River, the source of Masterton’s drinking water.


Masterton District Council has closed Henley Lake for recreational purposes and issued a health warning after tests show concentrations of cyanobacteria (toxic algae) to be at high levels.

Toxic algae (cyanobacteria) is found in the majority of lakes and rivers in New Zealand. Under certain conditions, including warm temperatures, prolonged periods of sunshine and low water flow through the lake, the algae can proliferate to very high numbers.

Water restrictions introduced for Masterton

Ongoing dry conditions have forced Masterton District Council to introduce water restrictions for the first time this summer.
Garden sprinklers may now only be used on alternate days.

Wairarapa councils respond to COVID-19 traffic light system

Introduction of the Government’s ‘traffic light’ COVID-19 protection system tomorrow (3 December) will see vaccine passes required for anyone aged 12 years and over at Wairarapa swimming pools and all libraries except Masterton District Library.

Masterton District Council appoints new CE

Masterton District Council has appointed David Hopman as its new Chief Executive.
Hopman, who has been acting in the role of CE for the Council since July, was offered the role following several weeks of recruitment by agency JacksonStone & Partners.

Youth hub added to skatepark project

Masterton District Council has signed a contract with Podular to supply a building next to the revamped skatepark site as a youth hub. Designs have been approved and construction is scheduled to start in the New Year.

Council grants top $200,000

More than $200,000 in Community Wellbeing and Events Grants have been allocated by Masterton District Council.

Architect sought for Civic Facility

Masterton District Council is inviting tenders for architect services for the Civic Facility. Negotiations are continuing for the purchase of the preferred site for the Civic Facility, in the north end of Masterton.

Mayors commend community response as Alert Level 4 extended

Wairarapa’s Mayors have commended the community response to the Level 4 lockdown so far and called for calm and a continued effort as Level 4 is extended into next week, 11.59pm on Tuesday, following Covid-19 cases identified in Wellington.

Councils quick to respond to Level 4 lockdown

Wairarapa’s three district councils moved quickly to reactivate a coordinated response to the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown that came into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday (17 August).

Master plan approved for hood aerodrome

A bright future for Hood Aerodrome has been mapped out with the approval of a masterplan by Masterton District Council for the key community asset. The masterplan was developed in consultation with Hood users and operators, and the wider community.

Free Home Health Assessment via Libraries

A new home health assessment toolkit is available from Wairarapa libraries, in a joint initiative by Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa District Councils.

Council makes progress on ‘Big decisions’

Masterton District Council will proceed with construction of a civic facility, including the library and archives, starting in 2022/23, seeking $4 million in external funding, and using $26.8m in loan funds.

Reduction in dog registration fee increase

Masterton District Council has responded to public submissions and agreed a lower increase in dog registration fees, down by up to $12 per dog on increases proposed in the draft Long-Term Plan fees and charges.
The increases are an average of around 16 per cent, down from proposed increases averaging around 26 per cent.

Masterton District Council to establish Māori wards

Masterton District Council will establish at least one Māori ward for the 2022 local authority elections, after a proposal to establish Māori wards was passed by 10 votes to one at an extraordinary council meeting today.

Contract signed for skatepark revamp

Hunter Civil Ltd, of Christchurch, has been awarded the tender for the revamp of the Masterton skatepark, with work scheduled to start after Queen’s Birthday weekend.

New home for Wairarapa Archive

The Wairarapa Archive is now operating from the Library Learning Centre next to Masterton Library, after a move from offices on the opposite side Queen Street.

New roundabout for Te Ore Ore Road

Work will start next week on a new roundabout at the intersection of Te Ore Ore Road with Blair and Totara Streets, increasing safety in an area of longstanding concern.

Proposed changes to fees and charges

A focus on ensuring the cost of delivering council activities is fully recovered is behind the increase in some fees and charges, proposed as part of the current consultation on Masterton District Council’s draft Long-Term Plan. Costs have increased due to adjustments for inflation, to respond to changes set by central government, and to cover borrowing costs for capital projects associated with the services.

Masterton – It’s time to step up and have your say!

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson believes there are thousands of great reasons and a couple of excellent incentives for people to take time to make a submission on the Council’s long-term plan consultation, which opens tomorrow  (1 April). The draft plan, called Stepping Up, sets out plans for a new civic facility, a 10-year Masterton revamp, and 25 new pensioner houses on council-owned land.

Water restrictions lifted

Rain in the Tararua Range has enabled Masterton District Council to lift all water restrictions from tomorrow (Wednesday 31 March). 

Council grants total almost $90k

Nearly $90,000 in community wellbeing, events, and COVID-19 sports grants have been approved by Masterton District Council’s Awards and Grants Committee.
This includes nearly $50,000 in Community Wellbeing grants, more than $17,000 in Community Events grants, and $21,000 in the COVID-19 Sports Grants.

Sprinkler ban returns

An extended spell without significant rain has forced Masterton District Council to tighten its water restriction, limiting watering to hand-held hoses only.

Independent assessment lifts Council rating

An independent assessment of Masterton District Council has highlighted significant improvement since it was first assessed as competent in 2017. The Local Government NZ CouncilMark assessment is a voluntary process, with the Council’s assessment now a “strong” BBB, up from a BB.

Watering restricted to handheld hoses

Garden watering in Masterton is now limited to handheld hoses, following a sustained period of dry weather and falling levels in the Waingawa River, the source of Masterton’s drinking water.

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