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Support to keep 3-constituency structure for DHB

Support to keep three-constituency structure for DHB

North Shore City Council believes that the present constituency structure for District Health Boards (DHBs) should be retained, and opposes an ' at-large ' structure for the 2004 DHB elections.

The city ' s strategy and finance committee agreed this week to support the present three-constituency structure for the Waitemata District Health Board which ensures three members are elected to represent North Shore City on a board of seven elected members.

Committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says that while the 2004 DHB elections will use the new voting system, Single Transferable Vote (STV), in which voters rank their desired candidates in order of preference, the council does not believe that the at-large structure should be used.

" The at-large structure would mean that voters could now vote for candidates from across the Waitemata (Auckland-wide) region, there would no longer be any guarantees that North Shore City, Rodney District and Waitakere City would all have local representation on the DHB, " he says.

" While the Minister of Health is able to make four additional appointments to the Board to address any gaps in skills, expertise and experience, this could still make it difficult to ensure that the community is represented as well. "

Councillor Holman says that existing constituency arrangements for DHBs should not be sacrificed because of changes that have been made to the voting system of DHBs.

North Shore City Council will send a submission to the Ministry of Health before the closing date next Wednesday, November 19. All submissions will be presented to Cabinet early in December and a final decision is expected soon after that.

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