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Commission proposal reflection of local concerns

Media Release
20 November 2009

Commission proposal a positive reflection of local concerns

The Local Government Commission’s proposals for Auckland’s boundaries and representation demonstrate the important role Local Boards will have in the new governance structure, Manukau Mayor Len Brown says.

“It is important that Auckland’s residents have effective representation at all levels, and that communities of interest are recognised. We have a unique and diverse population and we’re pleased to see that this is acknowledged, with specific communities of interest such as Otara and Pakuranga represented through subdivisions within the Local Boards.

The Commission’s proposal for Local Boards is for fewer than put forward in Manukau City Council’s submission, but Mr Brown recognises the Commissions proposed approach still takes account of the distinct communities of interest.

“I am particularly pleased that the Commission appears to have listened to and taken account of concerns about Auckland’s assets, taking a firm stance on regional parks and the dams in the Hunua Ranges remaining vested in Auckland ownership with the Auckland Council and Watercare.

“It’s also worth noting that the Commission has slightly adjusted the southern boundary to avoid splitting the present urban areas of Pukekohe and Waiuku to maintain their integrity. ”

The ward structure proposed for the southern sector aligns with the council’s submission to the Commission, particularly around the view that fewer local boards would allow for stronger local decision-making.

“In our submission to the Local Government Commission, we advocated for multi-member wards for Manukau and we are pleased to see that this is reflected in the draft proposal.”

However, the council is somewhat surprised that wards are proposed which do not comply with the ‘fair representation’ ratio, some by a wide margin. Mr Brown says he also realises that the provisions of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 imposed constraints on the Commission.

Overall, the Commission’s proposals for the southern sector are a fair representation of the community’s make-up and diversity, preserving the Manukau’s strong established communities of interest.

“I will be discussing the detail of this draft proposal with my council and community boards, to consider any further submissions to the Commission.”

ENDS

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