Re­moval of CDAs would cut red tape

The Southland Times - - NEWS - TIM NEW­MAN

A pro­posal to get rid of Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Area sub­com­mit­tees has been met with some con­cern about how the change will af­fect lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

The South­land District Coun­cil is propos­ing to do away with CDAs for the 2019 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

The coun­cil has re­leased its ini­tial pro­posal for the 2018 Rep­re­sen­ta­tion Re­view, which, if ap­proved on Fri­day, will be sent out for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

Along with the re­moval of 19 CDAs, the changes will also have a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the make up of com­mu­nity boards in the district.

While the num­ber of boards will re­main the same [eight], to­gether they will cover ev­ery­one within the district.

Ar­eas that pre­vi­ously were rep­re­sented by a CDA, or had no di­rect rep­re­sen­ta­tion at all, will now come un­der one of the eight new com­mu­nity boards.

The pro­posed com­mu­nity board ar­eas would be Ard­lussa [six elected mem­bers], Fiord­land [six elected mem­bers], North­ern [six elected mem­bers], Oreti [eight elected mem­bers], Ste­wart Is­land Rak­iura [four elected mem­bers], Tak­itimu [six elected mem­bers], Taramea Te Wae­wae [six elected mem­bers], and Wai­hopai Toe­toe [seven elected mem­bers].

South­land District mayor Gary Tong said the changes had the po­ten­tial to heav­ily de­crease the lev­els of bu­reau­cracy in­volved in lo­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Night­caps CDA chair­woman Bev Evans said her main con­cern was that there would be less di­rect in­put and fund­ing for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘I don’t think any­one in CDA is happy with it.

‘‘You can’t have rep­re­sen­ta­tion around the whole district be­cause each town has its own way of do­ing things – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’’

Browns CDA chair­man Ralph the Hamil­ton said while the new ar­range­ment could work well, but would de­pend on the struc­ture of the new pro­posal and the way the boards were funded.

Wal­lace­town Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Pe­ter Lau­rie said he was ‘‘on the fence’’ with re­gard to the new pro­posal.

‘‘I can see it work­ing but, in a large area like ours, I think peo­ple could get lost and still not be rep­re­sented – so we’ve got to get proac­tive peo­ple onto the boards.’’

In the pro­posal from the coun­cil, the rea­son­ing be­hind the changes was to cre­ate district-wide cov­er­age of com­mu­nity boards, to give ‘‘eq­ui­table rep­re­sen­ta­tion across the whole of the district’’.

Tong said he was com­fort­able that the coun­cil had done the ap­pro­pri­ate con­sul­ta­tion across the district.

‘‘That’s the views of the peo­ple we’ve been talk­ing to up to this date, that we can do this bet­ter.

‘‘I feel it will give 100 per cent rep­re­sen­ta­tion across the district. It cer­tainly hasn’t been there in the past.’’

Tong said the re­moval of the CDAs, which tech­ni­cally are coun­cil sub­com­mit­tees, would re­duce the bu­reau­cracy in the de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

‘‘CDAs are bound by the same rules that the coun­cil­lors are bound to around the coun­cil­lors ta­ble ... I think this gives them an op­por­tu­nity to have more say, out­side of the bu­reau­cracy of a com­mit­tee meet­ing,

Tong pointed to re­cent projects, such as the Cu­rioscape de­vel­op­ment in the Catlins, of a model for de­vel­op­ment in smaller com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘In the Cu­rioscape project, while the coun­cil sup­ported the process that was hap­pen­ing there with the trust, they didn’t have to come back and for­wards to coun­cil all the time.

‘‘It was done through a com­mu­nity group trust, which just got on and did it ... that’s a very good ex­am­ple of how things can be done within a com­mu­nity.’’

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