FROM THE NEWS DESK
The leap in the number of voters participating in our local body election this year is significant. Returns are up about 10 per cent across Queenstown, Wanaka and Central Otago, to 54.1 per cent in Queenstown Lakes and a huge 62 per cent in Central Otago.
But these figures are still not representative of our communities and neither are the people elected. At least half should be women and they are not. It is also interesting to reflect on the lack of ethnic diversity.
According to Statistics NZ around 75 per cent of the Queenstown Lakes District population and 80 per cent of Central Otago is of European ethnicity. That leaves up to a quarter of our population unrepresented around the council table.
Where is the representation from the Maori community? The significant Asian, Pacific and Latin American populations? We have to find ways to better represent the people we have become.