Little interest in council numbers
Only three submissions received
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.