Community boards advised to prove worth

Bryan Cadogan.
Bryan Cadogan
The Clutha district’s two community boards have been advised to "state their case" to prove their worth as the council prepares for its upcoming representation review.

The Clutha District Council will consider a mandatory review of its electoral systems and representation arrangements for the 2019 elections.

As part of this, there was scope for all aspects of representation to be reviewed including the  number of councillors on the council, whether Maori representation should be introduced and whether community boards would continue to function.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan, who used his casting vote during the 2012 representation review to keep the district’s two community boards, advised West Otago and Lawrence-Tuapeka community boards to make a submission during the review process at its meetings last week.

He was not sure if it would be proposed that the community boards would no longer be necessary as part of the review.

"That’s not to say as a community board you shouldn’t state your case."

While some areas of the district functioned without community boards and instead had working groups, the community boards worked for the West Otago and Lawrence-Tuapeka areas.

The only communities Mr Cadogan despaired for were the ones which had no representation by either a local board or a working group.

"If you want to keep your options open, then submit."

He also encouraged the community boards to make contact with one another.

Lawrence-Tuapeka ward councillor Geoff Blackmore said if no submissions were made by the board then the decision to keep the boards would be based on information from elsewhere.

"If it doesn’t come from here ... who’s going to push our case?"

He said no matter what happened, both Lawrence-Tuapeka and West Otago should keep their community boards.

West Otago community board chairwoman Barbara Hanna said it was "vital" a submission was made and something was done quickly.

Both community boards agreed to meet  to discuss a submission for the review.

The representation review will take place later this year and a discussion paper  will be released for feedback  on November 2 and will close on January 17.

Submissions on an adopted Statement of Proposal will then be open until April 18 next year.

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