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Council slammed over boundaries

Posted at 9:41am Monday 11 Jan, 2021

The proposed boundary changes favoured by NAG
The proposed boundary changes favoured by NAG

The Northern Action Group (NAG) – advocating for better political representation in north Rodney – has slammed Auckland Council's Governing Body for failing to back a motion to alter Rodney Local Board subdivision electoral boundaries.

The motion, put forward by Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers last month, proposed to shrink the Warkworth and Kumeu subdivisions to align them more tightly with town boundaries and introduce a new rural subdivision taking in South Head, Kaukapakapa, Puhoi, Kaipara Flats, Wellsford, Pakiri and Kawau Island.

Under the proposed arrangement, Kumeu and Warkworth would each have two elected board members (instead of four and three respectively) and the rural subdivision would have four.

The proposal aimed to give stronger representation to rural areas.

But at a meeting of the Governing Body on December 17, Councillors voted down the proposal by 12 votes to seven.

NAG chair Bill Foster said this means that the current unbalanced and unequal representation arrangements in Rodney would continue to apply until the next representation review in 2025.

“Clearly an arrogant Council thinks it knows best what's good for Aucklanders, and once again demonstrates that its concern for what happens in Rodney, and rural Rodney in particular, is marginal at best – other than for the exploitation of rates, resources and opportunities,” he said.

But despite having his motion rejected, Cr Greg Sayers took a more optimistic view, saying the vote reflected the fact that councillors wanted to delay floating any changes until the 2025 local body elections.   

“Interestingly, during the debate the majority of councillors thought that the Supercity wasn't working well. Most said their local boards could also benefit by changing elected representation to better align with communities of common interests, rather than using the current geographical-based model,” he said.

But Cr Sayers said it was a pity that Aucklanders wouldn't get the chance to give feedback on how the proposal could benefit them until 2025, when he was pushing for this to happen next year.

“However, I was pleased there was a high level of support to explore with the public new ways to improve the Supercity for the overall benefit of residents and ratepayers,” he said.

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