Must it be so hard?

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Com­mon ground is rarely found in Ti­tahi Bay when it con­cerns the sub­urb’s res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion and Porirua City Coun­cil.

They are reg­u­larly at log­ger­heads, and nor­mally the Ti­tahi Bay Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (TBRA) and its chair­man Graeme Eb­bett are on the front foot.

Mr Eb­bett is again try­ing to con­vince the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion that the Bay needs its own community board, as it has dis­tinct in­ter­ests and is­sues that can­not ef­fec­tively be rep­re­sented by the soon-to-be-two seats on coun­cil.

He says the func­tion of the board would be to ad­vo­cate for Ti­tahi Bay. I would have con­sid­ered this the func­tion of the res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion.

The func­tion of a community board would be to add an­other tier of bu­reau­cracy – at sig­nif­i­cant ex­pense, and point­less so long as the coun­cil and community are en­gaged in a healthy vil­lage plan­ning process.

The Bay has its hot is­sues, but are they re­ally more de­mand­ing than what other sub­urbs face? Or does it just seem that way be­cause the TBRA is al­ways keen to stoke the flames of con­tention?

I’m not say­ing res­i­dents groups shouldn’t chal­lenge lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, but it does the community lit­tle good to con­stantly pro­voke an ad­ver­sar­ial cul­ture. Take ve­hi­cle ac­cess at the beach. Mr Eb­bett is fear­ful ex­ist­ing re­stric­tions will be weak­ened by coun­cil invit­ing the pub­lic’s views.

I’d be sur­prised if it didn’t go the other way, with pub­lic opin­ion back­ing a to­tal ban of cars on the beach (boat ramps ex­cluded). And if Mr Eb­bett was to poll coun­cil­lors, he may find there are enough votes to help make this hap­pen.

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