Waikanae has won its battle for an extra ward councillor, reports Jeremy Smith.
The Local Government Commission says Paraparaumu will have three councillors at the October elections, while the number of district-wide councillors will drop from five to three.
The Commission has rejected the KCDC’s decision last year to stick with five ward plus five district-wide councillors.
Its ruling will change the balance from five to seven ward councillors –Paekakariki-Raumati and Otaki staying with one councillor each, plus the two from Waikanae and the three from Paraparaumu.
The Commission says the previous council decision – with only one ward councillor for Waikanae was outside the tolerance for the number of electors.
The magic number in determining the number of electors throughout Kapiti is 8,143.
KCDC got it wrong
Each Waikanae councillor will represent 7,700 people. At the moment the single ward councillor represents 15,400 people. The Commission says this has been outside the plus/ minus ten per cent requirement.
The three ward councillors for Paraparaumu will represent 8,033 people.
And a separate Community Board for Raumati
However the Commission has supported the decision to add an extra community board- for Raumati- and keep the four existing boards. Each board will have four elected members plus a councillor.
It says many of the people who made submissions tended to focus on perceptual dimensions of communities of interest:
“That is, they focus on what intuitively they ‘feel’ are existing communities of interest.
While this is a legitimate view, more evidence may be required to back this up. It needs to be appreciated that the other dimensions, particularly the ‘functional’ one, are important and that they can also reinforce the ‘sense’ of identity with an area.