Regional | Court

Winston backs Dargarville Courthouse

He's not God, but Winston Peters' arrival certainly boosted morale for the town of Dargaville, where he was once schooled, that will soon have a 'hearings only' court.

If Government has its wish, many people in this region will have to travel up to two hours to Whangārei, and then another two hours to get home.

Local Māori elder Robert Sarich says it's too far to travel for those who live in the Waipoua Forest, on Poutō Penninsula at Tinopai and Tangiterōria.

Northern Wairoa is a vast region with a very high Māori population, and they will feel the brunt of this initiative. Government maintains that apart from the services in Whangārei, people can also access justice via the internet.

While locals feel it's a great injustice, Peters claims the money for this country comes from those working in the forestry and farming sectors, and the workers from such sectors live in small towns like this.

Peters urges locals to resist change, saying Government is only "cutting back services to make their books balance".

The community continues to look at strategies that will make Government change its tune.