A Word with Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult,

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Wanaka-Hawea proposed new ward name

On a number of issues important to the district QLDC, and other local authorities around the country, we are moving to a model of engagement that involves advisory groups being formed from the community, to help shape ideas and inform council decision making.

Because local authorities are required by the local electoral act 2001 to review their representation arrangements at least once every six years, earlier this year an independent advisory group was formed to recommend a new model of resident representation for our district to give fair and effective representation for our communities.

The advisory group consisted of an independent chair, former QLDC mayor, political science academic, iwi representative and three community members selected from an expression of interest process and was tasked with taking a blue-sky approach to the district’s representation.

Based on the group’s recommendations and further council input, QLDC will begin community consultation next week on a new model which addresses the total number of councillors there should be for the district and the way they are elected.

The proposed model involves some changes for the Upper Clutha in that the ward name would be changed to Wanaka-Hawea reflecting both lakes as significant geographic features.

The proposed boundaries will remain as the current Wanaka ward, with the addition of another ward councillor and the removal of the Wanaka Community Board.

The advisory group’s recommendation to disband the Wanaka Community Board reflects an inequity, in that no other area or community within the district has a community board.

This group believed that the proposed Wanaka-Hawea Ward could be more effectively represented at a district level by having direct access to a total of four councillors elected to the council and would reduce potentially unnecessary bureaucracy by having an additional decision or recommendation-making body.

The Wanaka Community Board was established in 1989 and has done an outstanding job of representing the interests of the Upper Clutha over the years and I send my sincere appreciation to all who have so ably contributed.

Now is the time to discuss how an additional ward councillor representing the interests of the Upper Clutha could contribute to fair and equitable representation of the area, and how you feel about the proposal to no longer have a Community Board in Wanaka.

I encourage Upper Clutha residents to have their say on the proposed new model of representation by August 6.