Lit­tle in­ter­est in coun­cil num­bers

Only three sub­mis­sions re­ceived

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

There has been an un­der­whelm­ing public re­sponse to the pro­posal to re­duce the num­ber of Porirua City coun­cil­lors at next year’s elec­tions.

The coun­cil is re­quired to re­view its mem­ber­ship ev­ery six years – they did it last in 2006 – and this time put for­ward rec­om­men­da­tions that would see Ranui be­come part of the east­ern ward and one less coun­cil­lor in each of the three wards.

Only three sub­mis­sions were re­ceived from the public – one sup­ported the Ranui pro­posal but op­posed the re­duc­tion of ward coun­cil­lors as ‘‘weak­en­ing demo­cratic rep­re­sen­ta­tion’’, an­other also op­posed a lesser num­ber of elected mem­bers, while the third sub­mit­ter called for a com­mu­nity board for Ti­tahi Bay.

Plim­mer­ton res­i­dent Pip Piper spoke to his sub­mis­sion be­fore coun­cil­lors last week, say­ing a cut from 13 to 10 coun­cil­lors would lessen their chance of ap­pear­ing at res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion meet­ings.

‘‘It’s nice to have them along to meet­ings but some­times we get none at all. I think re­duc­ing the num­bers would also be a huge dis­ad­van­tage for Maori and Pa­cific res­i­dents in Porirua East – we don’t have the di­ver­sity in the north, but if you go from five [coun­cil­lors] to four in the east, it re­ally cuts down the rep­re­sen­ta­tion. With more peo­ple you get a much wider va­ri­ety of ideas.’’

Mr Piper said the lack of sub­mis­sions may have been due to the long term plan con­sid­er­a­tions oc­cur­ring at the same time.

Mayor Nick Leggett pointed out that Porirua, with a pop­u­la­tion of 52,000, has 13 coun­cil­lors, while Welling­ton, with 200,000 peo­ple, has 15. Ranui be­ing part of the western ward sim­ply came down to pop­u­la­tion num­bers, he said.

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