SUB­MIS­SION RE: REP­RE­SEN­TA­TION RE­VIEW

FROM: T.M. Mag­ill, 421 Har­woods Road, R.D.2., Ti­rau

South Waikato News - - BUSINESS HOTLINE -

1. The Board sup­ports the con­tin­u­a­tion of the Mayor (at large) and 10 elected Coun­cil­lors: (a) So that res­i­dents/ratepay­ers have an equal chance of be­ing able to ac­cess one or more of their Coun­cil­lors and all Coun­cil­lors have about the same com­mu­nity work­load. [i.e. as per Coun­cil rec­om­men­da­tion made on 22/4/2015] (b) In ad­di­tion (by re­tain­ing a Coun­cil of 10), en­cour­age­ment ought to be avail­able for gen­der bal­ance and age bal­ance on the Coun­cil ta­ble, i.e. so that it should en­cour­age peo­ple to make them­selves avail­able for elec­tion other than in their re­tire­ment years, i.e. a lesser num­ber would in­crease Coun­cil­lors’ (cur­rently with a full-time job) al­ready high work­load. 2. The Board sup­ports the con­tin­u­a­tion of the ex­ist­ing Three Ward Struc­ture: (a) The cur­rent three (3) Wards meet the leg­isla­tive struc­ture for com­pli­ance vari­a­tion on the pop­u­la­tion mixes for each Ward. (b) The Coun­cil rec­om­men­da­tion to move two a Two Ward (i.e. North Ward and South Ward) struc­ture was pred­i­cated on a re­duc­tion of Coun­cil­lors from 10 to eight – (that is not hap­pen­ing). (c) As Coun­cil has rec­om­mended that

Coun­cil Num­bers re­main at ten (10) – there is no ne­ces­sity to look at a Two Ward sys­tem. (d) There is a real dan­ger that ei­ther the Pu­taruru Ward or the Ti­rau Ward could (un­der a North Ward sys­tem) have no on­go­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion (i.e. all four Coun­cil­lors from Ti­rau or all four from Pu­taruru or vari­a­tion on this) which would give ei­ther Ti­rau or Pu­taruru ei­ther an over or un­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion. (e) The cur­rent Ward struc­ture on the other hand gives: • One Coun­cil­lor from Ti­rau – i.e.

one ev­ery 2,210 of pop­u­la­tion • Three Coun­cil­lors from Pu­taruru –

i.e. one ev­ery 2,150 of pop­u­la­tion That is a very fair and al­most equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion rate and aligns also com­par­a­tively with the Toko­roa rep­re­sen­ta­tion rate. (f) The Board be­lieves that the (ur­ban) pop­u­la­tions of Ti­rau and Pu­taruru are dis­tinc­tively dif­fer­ent with Pu­taruru be­ing a town ser­vice cen­tre and Ti­rau be­ing a dis­trict vis­i­tor des­ti­na­tion cen­tre. Ac­cord­ingly, the Board be­lieves the syn­er­gies and the as­pi­ra­tions of the re­spec­tive (ur­ban) cen­tres do not align well and would be bet­ter served by elected Coun­cil­lors as cur­rently. (g) There are no cost sav­ings to South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil by re­duc­ing the Wards as rec­om­mended. 3. Abo­li­tion of the Ti­rau Com­mu­nity Board: (a) The Board be­lieves that this is def­i­nitely not in the best in­ter­ests of ei­ther Ti­rau, in­clud­ing its ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, or the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil. (b) Whereas the ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties of Toko­roa and Pu­taruru have “com­mu­nity” groups as­sist­ing the re­spec­tive CBD ar­eas, Ti­rau has no other “mouth­piece”. (c) That is not to say a busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion or sim­i­lar could be set up by in­ter­ested par­ties but the Board is (ob­jec­tively) of the view that there is lit­tle like­li­hood (or de­sire) for such an or­gan­i­sa­tion to be es­tab­lished and even if es­tab­lished, there would be much un­cer­tainty as to its en­durance over time (un­like a Board on a three year elec­tion cy­cle). (d) The Board, on the other hand, costs $13,000.00 per an­num to op­er­ate and with elected per­son­nel will al­ways be avail­able to its com­mu­nity of in­ter­est. This ex­pen­di­ture is not “out of line” to com­mu­nity groups within Pu­taruru and Toko­roa (i.e. fi­nan­cial sup­port) on a com­par­a­tive ba­sis. (e) The $13,000.00 cost of the Com­mu­nity Board is a “tar­geted rate” – only payable by the to­tal (ru­ral and ur­ban) ratepay­ers of the Ti­rau Ward. (f) The Board is ward based (ru­ral and ur­ban) and there­fore is not a func­tion of a spe­cific (in­di­vid­ual) group (e.g. busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion or a re­tail­ers as­so­ci­a­tion) and is there­fore widely rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the whole Ward. (g) Ti­rau does not have any ratepa­per as­sisted “so­cial” or “com­mu­nity type” groups which are (par­tially) funded by Coun­cil [un­like Pu­taruru or Toko­roa]. 4. Se­cede from South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil (a) Since the rec­om­men­da­tion of the pro­posed Coun­cil Re­struc­tur­ing has been avail­able there has been a very sig­nif­i­cant ex­pres­sion of opin­ion from both ru­ral and ur­ban res­i­dents of the Ti­rau Ward that their in­ter­ests (from a lo­cal gov­ern­ment per­spec­tive) lie to the North and its nat­u­ral af­fil­i­a­tion and com­mu­nity of in­ter­est is with the Mata­mata Ward of the Mata­mata Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil. (b) The Board is there­fore, in its opin­ion, obliged to ad­vise Coun­cil of this prospect as part of th­ese Sub­mis­sions – in or­der to work through the demo­cratic pro­cesses. (c) The Board con­sid­ers how­ever that if its sub­mis­sions un­der 1, 2 and 3 above are ac­cept­able to Coun­cil then th­ese is­sues may likely be quelled and the public dis­quiet could pos­si­bly be soft­ened to the ex­tent that the Board could re­con­sider the is­sue of se­ces­sion from the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil.

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