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Latest Poll Supports Waitakere City Submission

July 13, 2009


A just-released survey of its residents supports Waitakere City Council’s submission to the select committee looking at governance changes in Auckland.

The Council will appear in front of the select committee this week. Today it released a telephone poll of 400 people aged 18 and over.

The results show a massive 86 percent of Waitakere residents want the proposed ‘local boards’, which will replace the region’s councils, to be able to make key decisions and receive funding to implement them.

The bill which is being deliberated on by the select committee currently restricts the powers and functions of the local boards.

“The fact is that 20 to 30 powerless little boards won’t work, will be expensive to run and will not deliver democracy or better services than the model we have proposed,” says Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.

“They need real grunt to continue the good community work of the current local councils.”

"We can only hope that the select committee listens to the logic of the arguments we are putting forward and takes account of the huge weight of public opinion,” she says.

Waitakere’s submission also urges that all Auckland Council members should be elected from wards and there should be no 'at large' representation other than the Mayor. Respondents in the survey agree, with 78 percent wanting the ward-based system introduced.

On the issue of Maori seats on the new Auckland Council there was almost an even split: 42 percent support the idea with 44 percent opposed. A further 14 percent had no opinion.

The poll was conducted by Phoenix Research.

Editor’s note

Main points of Waitakere’s submission:

• All Auckland Council members should be elected from wards (there should be no 'at large' representation other than the Mayor)
• There should be six wards for the election of 20 councillors, with each ward electing a number of councillors that is proportional to the population within the ward
• The mayor, and all Auckland Council and local board members, should be elected for a four-year term using the STV voting system
• Maori representation on the Auckland Council and throughout local government in New Zealand is supported, with the method and level to be determined by the Government
• Local boards should be renamed ‘Community Councils’ and be empowered to make decisions on local issues
• The legislation should ensure that sufficient funding and resources are provided to the Community Councils (local boards) by the Auckland Council
• The number of Community Councils should be between 12 and 20.


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