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Compton outlines overhaul of Council governance

Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton has unveiled an overhaul of Council governance to enable elected representatives to take leadership of and deliver results on the most important issues facing Kāpiti in the next three years.

“It’s clear that the current governance structure at Council isn’t geared towards addressing the big challenges facing our communities. The overhaul I’ve outlined will enable and empower Councillors to get on with delivering the results our communities are asking for, rather than what we have seen of years of talking, reports, and missed opportunities,” says Mr Compton.

“Too little action has been taken on issues like housing and economic development, despite the massive challenges for both these areas when Transmission Gully opens and the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway is finished. There’s also a need for a significant focus this term on reforming the way Council operates through implementing the recommendations from the report into Waikanae Library toxic mould disaster as well as the upcoming independent operational review of Council. We need a Council that's both efficiently and effectively run to get the best value for money for our ratepayers, and so we don't repeat the expensive mistakes that have left community assets run down."

Gwynn Compton’s new Council governance structure will see a combination of All of Council committees, subcommittees focussing on priority issues, and Councillors being empowered to lead in specific portfolio areas.

Portfolio leads will be appointed as chairs or deputy chairs of the related committees. They will be responsible for playing a strategic and policy development role in their specific portfolio, as well as being the Council’s spokesperson in that area. They will also be expected to actively work with Community Boards on their portfolio issues, and be the community’s point of contact for activities within their portfolio’s area of responsibility.

Community Boards will continue to play an important role, with representatives from each Community Board sitting on the Climate Change and Environment and Community Facilities and Wellbeing subcommittees, and portfolio leads needing to work closely with them.

“With the new governance structure and clearly defined portfolio leadership roles for Councillors, we’ll be able to see the new Council team take charge of these important issues and hit the ground running after the election,” says Mr Compton.

“I’m the only mayoral candidate who’s put in the hard yards to create a comprehensive and ambitious policy platform. It will allow Kāpiti to address the challenges coming our way, while also enabling us to seize some of the exciting opportunities ahead of us. Council governance has been in clear need of change, and my overhaul will be an important step in ensuring we have a better run Council that is financially responsible, community-focussed, and delivers effective results for the people of Kāpiti.”

Gwynn Compton’s proposed overhaul of Council governance

Changes to the All of Council Committees include moving finance to sit within the audit and risk committee to ensure better alignment between these interconnected areas, especially in light of ill-thought out proposals in recent years such as borrowing money to invest in the share market. Council Reform will be added to the Operations committee, which will have responsibility for overseeing the implementation of recommendations from the Waikanae Library report and the forthcoming operational review into Council. There is also the creation of a Housing and Infrastructure committee that will provide the focus needed to address the growing challenges around housing affordability and social housing shortages, as well as the significant infrastructure and transport, issues facing Kāpiti, both in dealing with growth and managing upgrades of aging Council-owned infrastructure.

• Operations and Council Reform
• Finance, Audit, and Risk
• Strategy and Policy
• Housing and Infrastructure
• CEO Performance and Employment Committee

New subcommittees include the creation of a Climate Change and Environment subcommittee, which will be responsible for applying a climate change lens to all of Council’s operations and decisions, as well as overseeing both Kāpiti Coast District Council becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2025, as well as the Kāpiti Coast becoming carbon neutral as a district by 2040 - 10 years ahead of the government’s target for the rest of New Zealand. A new Community Facilities and Wellbeing subcommittee will focus on ensuring that the wellbeing of Kāpiti’s communities - young, old, and everyone in between - is reflected in Council decision making, as well as the availability of suitable community facilities to support them.

• Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti
• Climate Change and Environment
• Community Facilities and Wellbeing (including representatives from community organisations)
• District Licensing
• Grants Allocation
• Appeals Hearing
• Campe Estate

Other committees and subcommittees may be established as required to deal with major areas of work, such as the Annual and Long-Term Plan processes as and when they arise. Representatives from each Community Board will also be involved in the subcommittees.

Eleven new portfolio leads will be established, with Councillors, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor appointed to each of the roles. As per the refreshed Economic Development Strategy currently under development at Council, the Economic Development and Major Projects portfolio lead will be part of the governance group set up to oversee that strategy involving business, iwi, and community leaders, hence why this specific area isn’t explicitly reflected in the name of a specific committee or subcommittee, though it would be covered through both Strategy and Policy Committee and full Council meetings.

• Housing
• Infrastructure
• Economic Development and Major Projects
• Climate Change and Environment
• Council Reform
• Community Facilities and Wellbeing
• Revenue and Finance
• Transport
• Māori Partnerships
• Arts and Culture
• Age Friendly Communities

The Public Art Panel will continue in its role, but opportunities to have more public involvement in its deliberations will be investigated with its members.

• Public Art Panel

In addition to the above, new regular public reporting requirements will be introduced on key issues facing the district. This is so residents can more easily keep track of the results being delivered by Council in areas such as economic development, climate change, housing and infrastructure, and progress on Council reform.

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