A recommendation to disband the Wanaka Community Board was overwhelmingly rejected by Upper Clutha residents in a recent online community consultation.

Earlier this year, the Queenstown Lakes District Council created an independent advisory group to review representation across the district.

The group recommended no community boards and the creation of four new wards with four councillors representing each.

The council passed the group’s recommendation, with an amendment to retain an Arrowtown councillor, at the end of June and community consultation followed.

At the last meeting of the Wanaka Community Board, electoral officer Jane Robertson gave a “snapshot” of the results.

She said of the 301 submissions received, 73% were from the Upper Clutha, 16% were from Arrowtown, 6% were from Queenstown Wakatipu and 5% were from out of town.

Of the 201 submissions received in support of retaining the Wanaka Community Board, 185 submitters (or 92%) were from the Upper Clutha, she said.

Wanaka ward councillor and board member Quentin Smith said he was not surprised the majority of submissions preferred the board be retained, as the rest of the district was all but unchanged.

“It was in many ways encouraging that there was some fight for the board in the submissions received,” he said.

However, there remained very “limited fixtures and very light single item agendas” for the board.

“If the board is retained I hope that there is a really good look at the effectiveness and structure of the board,” Cr Smith said.

Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce said he planned to do just that.

“I have compared notes with other community board chairs around the country and can see how different models work in conjunction with councils, some councils have community boards for each of their areas.

“The majority of submitters have indicated they want the board to stay and I will be looking at ways to strengthen the delegations to the community board,” Mr Bruce said.