Report on community boards

Should Central Otago's community boards be axed or retained?

The view of the independent panel looking at representation will be revealed on Monday, but it remains under wraps until then.

The panel's report and recommendation will be unveiled at the Central Otago District Council meeting, about 1pm that day.

"It's been a very interesting and thought-provoking process and that's the end of our role, now," panel chairwoman Gill Naylor, of Becks, said.

The council will receive the report from the panel on Monday, but will consider the recommendations at a council workshop session in mid-July and make a decision at its August 15 meeting as to which option it prefers.

Then the proposal will be open for submissions, giving district residents another chance to air their views on the matter.

Replacing the Cromwell and Vincent Community Boards with council subcommittees was one of the four options floated in the discussion document, made public in April.

Other options included retaining the district's four community boards but changing how councillors were elected.

The panel considered about 100 submissions on the document and also heard from about 40 people who attended "drop-in" sessions in Ranfurly, Omakau, Roxburgh, Alexandra and Cromwell in May, to talk about representation.

"We had lots of really good discussions with people at those sessions," Mrs Naylor said.

The role of the panel, appointed by the council in February, was to determine effective communities of interest, analyse the existing electoral system, discuss what was needed for effective and fair representation and develop options for future representation.

The panel comprised Mrs Naylor, Rory Gollop, of Alexandra, Tony Banks, of Earnscleugh, Allan Kane, of Tarras, John Rowley, of Teviot Valley, and Hilary Allison, of Naseby.

lynda.van.kempen@odt.co.nz

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