The KCDC’s six-yearly representation review is bringing huge changes to the Kāpiti Coast, reports Jeremy Smith.
Kāpiti’s community boards are facing the axe. And to keep them, board members are gearing up to fight the Kāpiti Coast District Council.
The review suggests only three wards– including no specific Waikanae ward ( as well as no community boards at all/.
It would be the biggest change in many years
The proposal would see Kapiti voters casting their ballots in three wards, including a central ‘superward’with three councillors, at next year’s elections.
However, the ‘central ward’ would combine Waikanae with Paraparaumu — and it’s possible that all three councillors could come from Paraparaumu only, or from Waikanae only.
The five at-large councillors for the entire district would remain.
Under the present wards Waikanae voters are “under-represented” with only one councillor for 14,500 people. The other four ward councillors each represent approximately 10,000 people.
The Ōtaki and Paekakariki-Raumati wards — each with one councillor — would stay, but with some redrawn boundaries because of population balance requirements.
Ōtaki enlarges to the south
Ōtaki would move south towards the Te Kowhai road, into blocks currently represented by Waikanae.
In Paraparaumu, some residential blocks near Avion Terrace and the Kapiti Airport would move into the redrawn Paekakariki-Raumati ward. This would dilute the Paekakariki component of the existing ward.
The biggest change
But the big change would be ending the four community boards, which now cater for the whole Kāpiti’i district
One suggestion is possibly retaining two of the boards, Paekakariki and Otaki, on the grounds of the special character of the two communities.
What the Council briefing papers say
“….the reasons that the initial proposal does not include community boards is because Kāpiti Coast District Council is satisfied that the existing communities of interest are represented by the proposed ward structure, and that there are alternative ways to maintain and strengthen local community representation within Kāpiti Coast District Council structures.”
This statement raises the question as to what the alternative ways of community representation might be.
And also how to define existing communities of interest, and just how many people are not in those communities.