You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Last month, Stand Children’s Services announced a proposal to close its villages for disadvantaged children in Roxburgh and Otaki because of funding difficulties.
The decision was met with strong criticism across the community and has led to mayors joining forces in opposition.
Zone Six chairman and Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said a delegation of local government Zone Six mayors (districts and regions south of the Waitaki) met in Dunedin on Friday to discuss the matter and have sent an email to the Prime Minister.
‘‘It was an opportunity for all parties to come together to have a full and frank discussion.’’
The outcome of the meeting was an email being sent to the Prime Minister, reiterating the concerns of the mayors regarding the threatened closure, Mr Cadogan said.
He declined to give further details but clarified it was not the first time they had communicated with the Prime Minister’s office.
‘‘This is a really sensitive issue and so important for the wider region. The collective mayors have been working from the outset to get a positive outcome.’’
On Saturday, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher posted on his Facebook page saying they [mayors] had decided to send an urgent letter to the Prime Minister to request a meeting at the ‘‘earliest opportunity’’.
However, this has since been clarified by Mr Cadogan.
He said Mr Kircher left the meeting early and the mayors did not necessarily request a meeting with the Prime Minister.
‘‘We sent an email on behalf of the mayors to the Prime Minister. We are willing to meet with anyone. We will continue to pursue whichever avenues are open to us.’’
Mr Kircher acknowledged he was wrong on some of the details and Mr Cadogan was the best person to comment.
‘‘I did leave the meeting before the end and I made an assumption on the email that did go out,’’ he said.
Mr Cadogan said he had had telephone conversations with government officials, but from the wider mayoral group there had been interaction only by email.
The Prime Minister did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.