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Rodney Council To Mount Fight Against Super City

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Penny Webster
Penny Webster

Wellington, March 12 NZPA - Rodney District Council is going to fight to stay out of the Auckland super city council, Mayor Penny Webster said today.

The council met today after the Local Government Commission released its final decisions on the boundaries and representation arrangements for the new Auckland Council.

Rodney Mayor Penny Webster says her council is still determined to be excluded from the new Auckland Council.

It included confirmation that the northern boundary of the new council will include her district.

Ms Webster says her council met this afternoon to map out its next steps.

"A lot of people in Rodney feel that they haven't been listened to. There is still a lot of angst in our community about being forced to be part of Auckland," Ms Webster said.

The council had been asked to support a local bill putting the northern part of Rodney into Kaipara.

However, Mrs Webster says it had been decided the best option is to propose its own local bill asking that all of Rodney be left out of Auckland.

"We have said all along that the new structure for Auckland is very complicated and more metro-focused. It is better suited to the metro Auckland councils and Rodney with its vast areas of farmland and mainly rural townships."

Mrs Webster believed a unitary authority in Rodney would complement the proposed new structure for Auckland and help to make these new arrangements less complicated.

There was a mixed reaction to the commission's decisions on the size and shape of the wards to elect councillors to the Auckland council and the design of local boards

Changes included splitting the Orakei-Maungakiekie Ward into two wards which increases the number of wards to 13 from the initial proposal in November of 12. There will also be two more local boards.

Commission chairwoman Sue Piper said the body had received more than 700 submissions on the proposed boundaries and representation.

North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams welcomed changes in his area which included the proposed Hibiscus-Albany-East Coast Bays Local Board i being split into Hibiscus and Bays Local Board and Upper Harbour Local Board.

Manukau Mayor Len Brown also welcomed changes in south Auckland, but said there was still considerable uncertainty about how local communities would engage with the new structure.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said he was pleased the commission had increased the number of local boards from 19 to 21.

Other boundary changes included:

* putting all Mt Eden and Kingsland communities into the Albert-Eden-Roskill Ward:

* all Glen Eden in Waitakere Ward,

* West Harbour/Hobsonville/Whenuapai moved to Albany Ward,

* Otahuhu moved to Manukau Ward, and

* the proposed Waitakere Local Board is now Henderson-Massey Local Board and Waitakere Ranges Local Board.

Some changes were made to membership of boards (all between five and nine members) to achieve more equal representation ratios:

* Seven of the 21 board areas have electoral subdivisions,

* Separate Wellsford subdivision in Rodney Local Board.

There were some minor changes to the southern boundary (including all Kariotahi Beach and Paparimu areas included in Auckland).

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