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Super City Ward Boundaries Must Be Reviewed To Ensure Fairer Representation - ARC

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Mike Lee
Mike Lee

The Local Government Commission (LGC) must review the proposed Super City ward boundaries to ensure there is greater equality in representation between wards, ARC Chairman Mike Lee said today.

"Super City wards need to be roughly even in terms of voting power.

"What's more, the current ward proposal does not comply with the legal requirement to create wards with only a plus or minus 10 per cent voter number difference between them.

"In regard to local boards, the ARC believes 19 is insufficient to give fair representation. We recommend the LGC adhere to the Government's guidelines of between 20 to 30 local boards.

"A consistent, equitable and coherent approach to wards and local boards is needed if the Super City reforms are to gain essential public confidence and support," said Mr Lee.

These points were made in the ARC's second submission to the LGC on proposals for wards, local boards and boundaries for Auckland. Earlier the ARC had called for single member wards. Copies of the submissions are available on the ARC website - www.arc.govt.nz.

In its second submission (also attached), the ARC:

Supports local boards having real power. With that in mind, the ARC is recommending the LGC look at extra local boards, extra local board members, and/or review the boundaries of local boards, to ensure good local representation and manageable workloads for local board members.

Strongly opposes the requirement in the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act that the southern boundary be set at the Waikato River catchment boundary, rather than the north bank of the Waikato River.

"We are equally opposed to the requirement that the Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri water catchments and dams be excluded from the Auckland region," says Mr Lee. "These are Auckland assets, developed and paid for by Auckland ratepayers. They must stay in the region's ownership."

Strong supports the LGC's proposal that the regional parkland in the Mangatangi and Mangatawhiri water catchments - and the area between these catchments and the Firth of Thames - be vested in the new Auckland Council.

Opposes Environment Waikato's idea to include more of the Firth of Thames in the Waikato region, so all aquaculture can be managed by Environment Waikato.

"The Super City reforms were meant to strengthen regional governance in the Auckland region, not weaken it," says Mr Lee.

Supports the LGC's proposal not to alter the northern boundary of the region.

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