What it really means to be a coun­cil­lor

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - NEIL SIN­CLAIR

Nom­i­na­tions for Mayor and Coun­cil­lors for the South Waikato Dis­trict and for the Tı¯rau Com­mu­nity Board are now open and close on Fri­day, Au­gust 12.

There was a good turnout of in­ter­ested peo­ple at our Can­di­date In­for­ma­tion Ses­sion but if you couldn’t at­tend, that’s no rea­son not to put your name for­ward.

It’s not easy or par­tic­u­larly glam­orous to be a Coun­cil­lor and for a con­sci­en­tious Coun­cil­lor and Mayor that will mean work­ing to un­der­stand Lo­cal Govern­ment fi­nance, plan­ning and what the RMA means, en­gi­neer­ing, car­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment and in our Dis­trict, our so­cial well­be­ing too.

Lots of read­ing and un­for­tu­nately at­tend­ing some

This next term will be ex­cit­ing as we as a Coun­cil have just be­come a foun­da­tion Coun­cil for the Lo­cal Govern­ment Excellence Pro­gram.

te­dious meet­ings that can go on a bit.

This next term will be ex­cit­ing as we as a Coun­cil have just be­come a foun­da­tion Coun­cil for the Lo­cal Govern­ment Excellence Pro­gram.

That will mean we are striv­ing to see that all which we do is aimed at im­prov­ing our ser­vice to our com­mu­nity.

Asses­sors will come into Coun­cil and spend time eval­u­at­ing Coun­cil’s per­for­mance in sev­eral ar­eas and then show where we can im­prove and were we are al­ready ex­cel­ing.

It is a pro­gram that is in­de­pen­dent from Lo­cal Govern­ment NZ and its re­sults will be trans­par­ent and open to all.

It’s the chance for us to share best prac­tice with other coun­cils, see what we do works and where we can learn from oth­ers.

To be judged by that in­de­pen­dent panel will give our com­mu­nity an op­por­tu­nity to see how the South Waikato rates as a Coun­cil.

In­ter­est­ingly enough the Fed­er­ated Farm­ers elec­tion man­i­festo ap­plauds this eval­u­a­tion.

So if you want to be part of the pro­gram the first step is, to put your name for­ward as a can­di­date but ex­pect to work.

On top of this work pro­gram Cen­tral Govern­ment has just re­leased its pro­posed Bill aimed as I read it to re­or­gan­ise Lo­cal Govern­ment and give Welling­ton more con­trol.

It is only a draft Bill at present but to me it reads like ‘Amal­ga­ma­tion by Stealth’.

To make it pub­lic in the mid­dle of Lo­cal Govern­ment elec­tions cy­cle makes it a bit more dif­fi­cult to sub­mit on so we as a com­mu­nity must se­lect wisely as if it pro­ceeds in its present form I am con­cerned about Lo­cal Democ­racy.

It was a ma­jor de­bate area at the Lo­cal Govern­ment Con­fer­ence over the week­end and I will re­port more later. It will be on the agenda for the new Coun­cil.

So can­di­dates be pre­pared to fight for that which I be­lieve is the essence of lo­cal­ism - Lo­cal Democ­racy. Do you agree?

Mayor Neil Sin­clair

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