Empty agenda results in no community board meeting

The Wanaka Community Board has scrapped plans for its regular scheduled meeting next month because of a lack of items for the agenda.

However, the public would still have plenty of opportunities to raise issues in other forums, chairman Lyal Cocks said.

The meeting's cancellation was announced yesterday morning in an email from Queenstown Lakes District Council Wanaka Service Centre manager Barbara East. In an emailed reply, community board member Bryan Lloyd questioned whether the board was ''serving the community in the way that we should'' by cancelling the meeting, since members of the public wanting to speak in a public forum would have to wait another six weeks until the next meeting.

Mr Cocks responded in a subsequent email that there were other options available for the public to present submissions to the board - such as councillor and board clinics and working group meetings, so he had made the call to cancel the meeting.

''Apart from the standard reports, there's no items for discussion,'' Mr Cocks told the Otago Daily Times.

''Looking at the cost of putting a meeting on just for the reports, it's probably not justified. All the work that's going on has all been signed off previously.''

The cancelled meeting did not indicate diminishing responsibility for the board or leave its members sitting idle.

''All the delegation's still there. We've got a lot of activity going on. The board still meets to do working group stuff on issues we want to get on to agendas.

''But occasionally, very rarely, we haven't got anything to make a decision on.''

Community board member Jude Battson was not surprised the meeting was cancelled.

''It has happened before for a WCB meeting and has occurred two or three times in the past two and a-half-years for the QLDC community services committee I am on.''

She said unless there was a controversial agenda item, the board's public forum might only attract one or two people.

The cancellation was ''sensible book-keeping on behalf of the ratepayers'' given the costs associated with holding a meeting, she said.

The next Wanaka Community Board meeting will be held on April 16.

- lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz