Councillor numbers fine: panel

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
The number of Dunedin councillors should stay at 14 and community boards should be retained, an independent panel says.

It recommended no changes to the way residents were represented by the Dunedin City Council.

Each voter should continue to have a say on any or all councillors elected across the city, rather than electing them from geographical areas known as wards.

Boundaries for the six community boards should remain the same and the number of elected members on each board should stay at six, including one councillor, the panel found.

It encouraged the council to continue dialogue about whether a Maori ward should be established.

No councils within the Ngai Tahu rohe have so far set up Maori wards, but the Dunedin City Council recently decided two of its committees should have runanga representatives.

The number of Dunedin councillors was as high as 21 in 1989 and it has been 14 since 1998.

The reviewers found there was no strong call for change.

Reviews have to be carried out at least once every six years, but the panel suggested the council’s representation arrangements be considered again in 2024.

The panel noted there could be significant changes to local government by then, including the effect of water and resource management reforms.

The panel members were chairman David Ayers, Rachel Wesley and Eleanor Doig.

Their report is to be considered by councillors next week.

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