The three new members of the Waikanae Community Board — Geoffrey, Margaret Stevenson-Wright and Jill Griggs — were among 120 or so community board members from as far north as Ruapehu who attended the workshop held by LGNZ yesterday. Also there was Grace Lindsay of the Paraparaumu-Raumati CB.
One of the things we realised well before the campaign is that most people aren’t aware of what community boards are there to do. A popular perception is that they are just there to dish out grants to locals and local organisations who meet certain criteria for them. In fact there is a lot more to it than that.
The Local Government Act sets it out:
Section 52 Role of community boards
The role of a community board is to—
(a) represent, and act as an advocate for, the interests of its community; and
(b) consider and report on all matters referred to it by the territorial authority, or any matter of interest or concern to the community board; and
(c) maintain an overview of services provided by the territorial authority within the community; and
(d) prepare an annual submission to the territorial authority for expenditure within the community; and
(e) communicate with community organisations and special interest groups within the community; and
(f) undertake any other responsibilities that are delegated to it by the territorial authority.
In respect of (f), Mayor Guru during his campaign promised to Empower the Kapiti boards with more responsibilities. Although he managed to avoid keeping his promises in his first term, this one will be different.
In fact all matters affecting Waikanae should come first to the WCB and then go back to the council for appropriate recommended action. The WCB also makes a submission on both the Annual Plan and the Long Term Plan (which is revisited every three years).
Basically, all council-related concerns that Waikanae Ratepayers/renters have that affect more than just themselves should come first to the WCB. That doesn’t mean that the board will achieve success, but the council had better have a good reason for turning the WCB down.