Waikanae Badly Under-Represented, Commission Told


The Waikanae ward and its “overpopulation” was the subject of every personal submission made to the Local Government Commission on Zoom this week.

Kāpiti Island and the houses of Waikanae Beach

Waikanae cou8ld be ‘the most under-represented in NZ

The two commissioners were told that out of 240 wards around New Zealand, Waikanae
would be ”the most under-represented” by having only one Kapiti councillor for 15,000
people.

The claim came from Pat Duignam of the Waikanae Beach Society.

The current proposal puts Waikanae well outside the plus or minus tolerance for KCDC
wards.

Paraparaumu has 2 councillors for 22,000 people

By comparison the Paraparaumu ward has two councillors for 22,000, and the other
two wards each have one councillor for 11,000 and ten thousand people.

Mr Duignam a former member of the Commerce Commission said the way to solve the
problem would be to change the ward border or to have 11 councillors. This would mean six
ward councillors, not five.

He said it was “regrettable” that the issue had become a Waikanae-Otaki one in terms of the
border between the two but “that was reality.”

Most people want more moee Councillors or smaller wards – report

He quoted the Empathy report- the council consultants –which most people spoken to wanted
more ward councillors or smaller wards.

Previously Otaki ward councillor James Cootes had said an extra ward councillor would
swing the balance of councillors in favour of the two central areas – Waikanae and
Paraparaumu.

‘Ōtaki felt like a poor cousin’

Cootes said Otaki felt like a poor cousin in Kapiti as an area with lower incomes and a small
population.

Ōtaki Councillor James Cootes

When the commission chair Brendan Duffy asked for a specific example of how Otaki was
disadvantaged Cootes said it was in the area of fewer services for youth.

All submitters came from Waikanae

All the zoom submitters came from Waikanae and all reiterated their opposition to the single
councillor for Waikanae. Community board member Richard Mansell referred to the
frustrating process with the council’s representation review.

Community board chair James Westbury said Waikanae had been disadvantaged for at least
nine years.

Land owner Royd Sampson said he was a “bit aggrieved” that his land – in the family for 99
years – was being placed out of Waikanae into the Otaki ward and wondered if it was the
work of some “shiny-arse” in an office.”

Waikanae Beach resident Gerald Rys – who is also chair of the Waikanae Beach Society-
said his area paid the highest rates, paid the largest rate increases and received little for it.

The deputy mayor Janet Holborow and councillor Cootes represented the KCDC and made
opening and closing statements to the commissioners- the Commission chair Brendan Duffy,
a former Horowhenua mayor and Bonita Bigham of South Taranaki.

Kapiti mayor Gurunathan was at another meeting.

The Local Government Commission has to make a final determination- its yea or nay to the
Kapiti representation proposal- by April 11.

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