Focus on local still required

Thursday 11 March 2010, 2:02PM
By Manukau City Council


Manukau Mayor Len Brown today welcomed the redrawing of some ward boundaries for the new Auckland Council structure but said considerable uncertainty remains on how local communities will engage with the new structure.

“We now have some certainty as to the wards and boards, and the Commission has said its goal was to achieve the best balance between good local governance and effective engagement of local communities. In that we are in agreement. I am, however, still uncertain as to how this will translate into the new structure of the Auckland Council.

“Our primary concern is that that local voices are protected, not lost. Our council has advocated for strong powers for local boards to be written into legislation to make sure local voices are protected and to lessen the chance of division and conflict on the new council.

“We now need to focus on ways to make sure that these local boards can effectively represent their communities within the new structure.

“I welcome the inclusion of Otahuhu into the Manukau Ward in the Local Government Commissions determination released today.

“This was something we advocated for in our initial submission to the Royal Commission. I am pleased that the natural community of interest has finally been recognised,” Mr Brown says.

“It is important that local representation fairly represents common interests, and the possibility of conflict and division at local level is reduced. This is a sensible decision.”

He also welcomed the realignment of the boundaries for the Manukau Ward to include the Manukau city centre and to better recognise communities of interest.