Council ready to get smaller
Ranui will become part of Porirua City Council’s eastern ward alongside Ascot Park, Aotea, Waitangirua and Cannons Creek if city residents approve a council proposal next month.
There will also be three fewer city councillors at the next election if the council’s recommendations go through.
Councils are required to review their representation models every six years. Porirua City Council last did this in 2006, and discussed this year’s review at a council meeting last Wednesday.
At present half of Ranui is in the western ward, which includes Titahi Bay, Takapuwahia, Elsdon, the city centre, Kenepuru and Mana Island.
Councillor Litea Ah Hoi told fellow councillors Ranui dwellers would be ‘‘ so happy’’ to belong to Porirua East next election.
‘‘The western ward councillors did a good job of looking after their interests. Thanks for caretaking our residents.’’
The council is proposing one fewer councillor for each ward at the 2013 election, meaning the northern and eastern wards would each have four, while the western ward would have two. At present the city has 13 councillors plus the mayor.
Councillor Ken Douglas said a smaller council fits with downsizing happening across all sectors in recent years.
‘‘It’s difficult to say everybody’s got to change except us.’’
The current council is large in relation to the size of Porirua, Mr Douglas said.
In a happy coincidence, the ratio of electors to councillors is almost perfectly even when Ranui is included in the eastern ward and the number of councillors reduced, mayor Nick Leggett said. Electoral rules mean the number of electors per councillor must be the same to within 10 per cent across ward boundaries.
It is also possible to have councillors elected ‘‘at large’’ where candidates could collect votes from throughout the city, but this concept has not been recommend by the council. At present only the mayor is elected at large.
Community boards are also up for review, but are not supported by the council.
‘‘ Effective representation would not be enhanced by establishing community boards,’’ the officer’s report said.
The public can submit on the council’s Draft Long Term Plan from March 27 by emailing any city councillor. See pcc.govt.nz/your-council