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.