Three is­sues

Waihi Leader - - News -

Af­ter read­ing the ar­ti­cle on page 5 of The Leader Au­gust 23, ‘ Sta­tus quo for coun­cil num­bers’ I was left feel­ing in­cred­u­lously cyn­i­cal.

The head­ing is a mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the sit­u­a­tion.

There are three is­sues at stake:

1. Ward rep­re­sen­ta­tion — this is based on pop­u­la­tion size and there­fore a given.

2. Com­mu­nity Boards — to quote from John Tregidga, (Hau­raki Mayor),

“The pos­si­bil­ity of bring­ing back com­mu­nity boards was raised in the feed­back, but there is ab­so­lutely no ap­petite from coun­cil to go down this road. We used to have com­mu­nity boards but they even­tu­ally dis­banded them­selves.”

West­ern Bay of Plenty has re­cently been through the same process with sub­mis­sions closing Fri­day Au­gust 24 on ward bound­aries and com­mu­nity boards be­ing dis­banded.

Com­mu­nity Boards are made up of elected members, in­clud­ing stand­ing coun­cil­lors.

What would seem­ingly be a ‘demo­cratic process’ within our elec­toral leg­is­la­tion?

Com­mit­tees would dif­fer­en­tially be made up of coun­cil-nom­i­nated members or those who would be fool­hardy enough to put their names for­ward. Ex­per­tise ap­par­ently ir­rel­e­vant.

They would also be en­gaged and dis­en­gaged at the whim of Coun­cil —‘Tow the Party Line’.

The Waihi Beach Com­mu­nity Board is not look­ing at “dis­band­ing it­self”; rather Coun­cil is look­ing at dis­band­ing the Com­mu­nity Board to en­sure Coun­cil has more con­trol.

Com­mu­nity Boards have limited con­trol as it is. Se­lected Com­mit­tees will have even less and Waihi Beach will just be a mi­rage in the eyes of Coun­cil.

3. The Cen­sus —A com­plete de­ba­cle. One third of NZ house­holds did not re­ceive cen­sus pa­pers. They con­se­quen­tially had to be hand de­liv­ered.

The re­sults should have been avail­able at least one to two months ago and will now not be avail­able un­til next year.

I ques­tion how Coun­cils can make so many pop­u­la­tion and com­mu­nity de­ci­sions based on the 2013 cen­sus statis­tics.

Coun­cil needs to look at its in­ter­nal op­er­a­tions be­fore pro­ceed­ing out­side of Cham­bers. A busi­ness model that works for many suc­cess­ful en­ti­ties.

NI­COLA MOWAT

Waihi Beach

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