We Say

The axing of community boards is being considered by district councils from Wānaka to Waipā.

And in both centres the boards are aggrieved. That’s not surprising – they have proved valuable mouthpieces for communities.

What is equally concerning is how the proposal in Waipā was exposed – via a Te Awamutu Community Board agenda.

This is not a specific criticism of Waipā – it is a reflection of a process which has been allowed to develop nationally over the last 30 years.

When the existing local body system was introduced in 1989 there were no secret workshops, councillors debated issues in public. It was healthy – and it was reported.

The News understands a staff report recommending the axing of the boards was discussed in secret by councillors just this week – and there was limited support for the proposal.

That is not democracy at play. The public are entitled to know what councillors are discussing and what their views are. Councillors should not be muzzled, and this is a case Local Government New Zealand should be arguing.

Further, Waipā should not have learned second hand that their council is reviewing the future of community boards ahead of an election next year.

Read: Boards for the Chop?

More Recent News

Lockdown lunacy 

Tuesday’s apology by Auckland couple William Willis and Hannah Rawnsley for a flagrant breach of Lockdown rules was as orchestrated as the trip they took. The best one could say about the couple was that…

Three waters: a quick hit

Any financial benefits in changing the management of water services throughout New Zealand are unlikely to have a long-term significant impact in Waipā, district councillors have been told. A Service Delivery workshop was held on Tuesday to prepare councillors to make a…

Slips closes track 

Waipā District Council has closed off one of its popular Lake Te Koo Utu tracks due to slips. The 245m Sam Lewis Track at the south-west of the lake which comes out opposite the Good Union Cambridge…

A new country every day… 

Frank Broekmans and Kevin Pepperell might be two of Cambridge’s newest residents, but they’ve quickly endeared themselves to the community with their collection of flags. Every day Frank hoists a nation’s flag on the flag post outside their…