Coun­cil ready to get smaller

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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. See­cil

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