Posted by Gold FM on 08/11/2012
Last week the full Hauraki District Council voted again on whether to reduce Waihi's representation; and they voted for the status quo to remain.
The Waihi Ward Councillors were not happy when they were out-voted by the Plains and Paeroa Councillors in August and the prospect of only having four around the Council table loomed.
The options had been workshopped and discussed and the recommendation was for the status quo to remain, so there was a degree of disappointment and anger at the decision to make the cut to four when the Waihi Ward Councillors were beaten by the numbers.
Since that decision the Council has notified it, accepted submissions and held a hearing for submitters to be heard.
We invited Mayor John Tregidga to share his thoughts on the result. He said "It was obvious both Councillors and the community had quite strong views about the decision," which he didn't expect. He explained that things changed when Kaiaua was included in the Hauraki District. Representation has to be within plus or minus 10%, Councillors per residents. "One of the issues was that we didn't have census figures to go on and there was controversy around the estimates supplied to the Council. We'll stay with the staus quo and we've recommended that the next Council has a look at it and reviews it if they wish," he said.
"We have to review the representation every six years and generally the Hauraki District Council has more Councillors than similar Councils the same size. Admittedly we don't have Community Boards," he commented. "If you take Hamilton City, they have 12 Councillors for 200,000".
"At the end of the day, it's what the community wished, all of the Waihi Councillors were adamant that they wanted it to stay the same and other Councillors listened. I was quite relaxed about it. I've said to the Councillors, let's move on and get onto the real issues that we've got ahead of us."
"My experience is, it's not the number of Councillors who represent an area, it's the quality," the Mayor said.
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