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Rodney District Council: Review of Representation

Orewa, 2nd August 2006.

Rodney District Council: Review of Representation

Rodney District Council is proposing to introduce a fourth ward for the 2007 elections.

The proposal follows the Council's decision on submissions to the initial review of representation proposal, and was approved by majority vote at a Council extraordinary meeting yesterday.

The new ward, which will be called the Central Ward and be similar to the Wainui Ward that existed prior to the 2001 elections, includes Coatesville to the south, Dairy Flat and Redvale, and Wainui area in the north. It also includes an area of Okura currently in the Eastern Ward.

In making its decision, the Council considered the area to have a general orientation to the east coast and the south, rather than to the Western Ward which will contribute much of the land area of the new ward.

However, the new ward will not result in an increase in councillors.

The Council elected to keep to twelve councillors, plus the mayor. The new Central Ward will have one councillor, whilst the Western Ward representation will reduce from four to three. Eastern and Northern Ward representation would remain the same at five and three respectively.

The Council is also proposing to change the name of the Eastern Ward to Hibiscus Coast Ward.

Community Boards, which were also considered in the representation hearings, have been given the thumbs down in the final proposal. A council spokesman says investigations had shown that there were practical difficulties and cost implications in pursuing the concept in such a diverse district with so many communities.

However, more support was shown for the introduction of area committees, and a recommendation to the next council that it introduce area committees was passed at the meeting.

Area committees would involve councillors from each area being delegated the power to determine and act on local issues.

A copy of the Council's proposal will be posted on its website www.rodney.govt.nz .

Any member of the public who made a submission to the original draft proposal may lodge an appeal against the Council's decision. An appeal must relate specifically to the matters raised in that person's original submission.

Objections to the final proposal can be made by any person or organisation, provided the objection specifies the issue of objection and the grounds for objection.

Appeals and objections must be in writing and sent to the Rodney District Council, Private Bag 500, Orewa by 21st Septe mber 2006. They will then be forwarded by the Council to the Local Government Commission for its consideration, possible public hearings, and a final decision.

The next local body elections will be in October 2007.

ENDS.

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