Kaipara going forward with four wards
BY JULIA WADE
After a lengthy consultation process beginning over a year ago, numerous community submissions, council debate and public meetings, the final judgement has been given regarding the realignment of Kaipara’s wards.
Following a public ‘representation review’ on March 14, the Local Government Commission announced on April 10 their endorsement that, for the 2019 October election, Kaipara District Council (KDC) will continue to include the mayor and eight councillors, however the councillors will be elected from four wards instead of the current three.
In April 2018 the KDC, with the intention to provide more representation for south-eastern communities, proposed a realignment of the existing Otamatea, Dargaville and West Coast/Central wards, by creating a new Kaiwaka/Mangawhai ward with two councillors standing for each ward.
The proposal attracted both support and opposition with some residents saying the new division was ‘strongly weighted’ towards the west with not enough representation for the ‘only actively growing areas of Kaipara’, and believed the new ward would ‘drive a wedge’ between Otamatea communities.
However Kaipara mayor Dr Jason Smith says the decision is an emphatic endorsement of the council’s work ‘to improve the representation of Kaipara people at the council table’.
“It’s a job well done with the experts saying we got this right. This sets us up confidently for the October council elections and beyond.”
The full report and determination can be found at kaipara.govt.nz/repreview.