Big city – big wards

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Scott Mor­gan

AUCK­LAND’S su­percity coun­cil ward bound­aries have taken shape, but not every­one is happy with what’s be­ing pro­posed.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion has rec­om­mended a to­tal of 12 wards and 19 lo­cal boards to make up the new struc­ture of the Auck­land Coun­cil.

Across the Auck­land isth­mus there would be four wards – the Whau and Maun­gawhau-Hau­raki Gulf Is­lands wards, that will have one coun­cil­lor each, and Mt Al­bert-Mt Roskill and Orakei-Maun­gakiekie wards, with two coun­cil­lors each.

Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Dun­can Macdon­ald says it could be dif­fi­cult merg­ing Waitakere city’s New Lynn and Green Bay with Auck­land city’s Avon­dale and Waterview to form the new Whau ward.

“There’s go­ing to have to be some pa­tience from peo­ple on both sides un­til it gets sorted.

“It could end up as a bun fight be­tween groups from two cities.”

Eden-Al­bert Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Chris Dempsey says the for­ma­tion of the new Mt Al­bertMt Roskill ward is bound to raise a few eye­brows among lo­cals.

“I think it will be a diffi- cult thing to knit to­gether. You will get a lot of dis­grun­tled peo­ple in Mt Al­bert who don’t want to be as­so­ci­ated with Mt Roskill.

“Given the choice, they’d rather go with Mt Eden be­cause it’s more mid­dle class.”

If the draft pro­posal is ac­cepted, Mt Eden will be­come part of the Maun­gawhauHau­raki Gulf ward along with sub­urbs in­clud­ing Pon­sonby, the cen­tral city and Par­nell.

West­ern Bays Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Bruce Kilmis­ter says he isn’t happy with just one lo­cal board rep­re­sent­ing the en­tire main­land in the ward.

“I think the lo­cal boards are too big. To say the needs of com­mu­ni­ties like Grey Lynn and Pon­sonby can be com­pared to Par­nell is stretch­ing it too far.”

Mr Kilmis­ter says he wants to see a sub­di­vi­sion down the mid­dle of the ward, which al­lows peo­ple to only vote for lo­cal board candidates that stand in their area.

All other lo­cal boards on the Auck­land isth­mus have at least one sub­di­vi­sion to im­prove lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Mt Roskill Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Richard Barter is happy with the ward and board bound­aries, but says the true test will be how much power the lo- cal boards are given to deal with is­sues and pro­vide ser­vices.

City Vi­sion-Labour leader Richard Northey says the huge size of the OrakeiMaun­gakiekie and Mt Al­bert-Mt Roskill wards means get­ting ef­fec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion will be dif­fi­cult.

Manukau mayor and su­percity can­di­date Len Brown says fewer lo­cal boards should give them the power needed to make a dif­fer­ence in their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, but is con­cerned the size of some of the wards such as Orakei-Maun­gakiekie are too big.

Auck­land mayor John Banks says while his pref­er­ence would have been for 28 lo­cal boards, the tight time­frame means “we must make it work”.

Com­mis­sion chair­woman Sue Piper says is­sues such as pub­lic ac­ces­si­bil­ity to coun­cil­lors and the need for candidates to re­flect a range of sec­tors in the com­mu­nity were among those con­sid­ered.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion is tak­ing pub­lic sub­mis­sions un­til De­cem­ber 11 and a fi­nal de­ci­sion will be made on March 1.

To make a sub­mis­sion email info@lgc.govt.nz, fax (04) 494-0501 or post to the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion, PO Box 5362 Welling­ton.

Ward bound­aries P3

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Char­ity ride: Guy Pin­fold, 2, is prac­tis­ing rid­ing his “big boy bike” with mum Tessa and sis­ter Meg in prepa­ra­tion for the Heart Chil­dren New Zealand char­ity ride.

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