Kāpiti’s Community Boards Reprieved – Plus An Extra One For Raumati

Kapiti’s four community boards will stay after all – with one extra planned:  a board for Raumati.

Kapit Coast District Council- reprieves the Boards

But expect at least one appeal from Waikanae which will continue to have a single ward councillor. 

District councillors faced a deadline yesterday in the electoral landscape for next year’s local poll. 

The proposal that went nowhere

Councillors had clearly signalled the proposal to dump the boards would go nowhere.

But they ended by voting to add the extra community board, put forward by Paekakariki-Raumati councillor Sophie Handford and seconded by at-large councillor Gwynn Compton. 

It had started as a formal proposal to put a “subdivision” into the existing Paraparaumu/Raumati board, adding two Raumati-based board members.  

Mansell condemns ‘shambles’

Richard Mansell

Before the debate Waikanae community board member Richard Mansell had called the representation review a  “bit of a shambles.”
He said the council had little idea of what people wanted.

The proposal to remove community boards and set up a super ward for Waikanae and Paraparaumu “was clumsy and ill-conceived and Waikanae would never have accepted it”.

He said the proposal on the table- which councillors voted for on Thursday-  would leave Waikanae – a quarter the population – with a lone voice at the council table. By contrast Otaki would have four voices- including mayor Gurunathan—and three councillors at the table.

Mansell said Waikanae paid high rates, had lost its transfer station and “felt put upon.”

The deadline facing councillors is Monday November 15.

The formal proposal will automatically go to the Local Government Commission because the population numbers for the Otaki and Waikanae wards are outside the plus or minus ten percent tolerance.

In addition any appeals or objections to the details approved on Thursday must also go the Local Government Commission. KIN understands at least one appeal will be filed over the decision to leave Waikanae with a single councillor.

Kia Ora Guy, thank you for your thoughts. It may be helpful for the public, to clarify a few points you have made.

A) There was no original staff recommendation to abolish community boards. This was a decision made by the council table to address a number of ongoing concerns with the current community board structure/relationships/activities/outcomes.

I want to say clearly that the decision to create a new community board reflects a shared view that they have a positive role to play when things are working well and are well entrenched in the Kapiti public minds as the face of Kapiti’s local government that is appreciated.

The Community Board role should be encouraged. Clearly we now have the opportunity to change and reset the way community boards interact with each other, the public, the council organisation and the council table. We need to do the mahi, identify the problems and identify and make the changes in the current model, delegations, rights and responsibilities that will give the accurate information needed for positive outcomes for the community, not negative ones, every time they interact with the community boards. This will ensure community boards use the full potential of their roles and all elected representatives are enabled to assist them to share accurate information and support the public.

In hindsight it is a great pity there hasn’t been the leadership at council to start this conversation in a meaningful way before the representation review,

I could list the problems, already identified, that have arisen over this triennium, but I took the paragraph out in an effort to focus on the positive going forward.
B) The recommendation to propose no community boards was not accepted unanimously by the table, it was a split vote.

It’s a pity Councillors (except Bernie Randall who opposed) were not in tune with their communities when they decided to accept the original staff recommendation to abolish Community Boards. Their quick ‘about-turn’ after massive public opposition shows how disconnected they are. The massive staff and consultant’s expenditure would have been avoided if these councillors (who supported the original proposal) had any sense of how locals think.

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