22 Nov 2009

Super-city 'challenges' ahead for Pacific population

7:17 am on 22 November 2009

Auckland's Pacific population is being told proposed new boundaries for the super-city present it with some big challenges.

The Local Government Commission revealed proposed boundaries for the super-city on Friday, opting for fewer local boards than previously suggested.

The commission is proposing 12 wards; eight having two councillors each and four with one councillor, making up the total of 20 representatives for the super-council.

Nineteen local community boards will sit within the greater wards, comprising between five and nine members each, making a total of 126 board members around the region.

The Government had recommended that the commission create between 20 and 30 local boards.

The chairwoman of the Pacifica Women's Group Tamaki branch says Pacific Islanders will lose out at the ward level, unless they mobilise good candidates and vote.

Josephine Bartley says in Orakei Maungakiekie, candidates from wealthy suburbs are likely to dominate because their supporters do turn out.

However, she says people in Glen Innes and Panmure will be able to have a say at community level, giving the Pacific population a good opportunity to get on community boards which will have power over local services.

Meanwhile, a business advocacy group says the Local Government Commission has done well in deciding the region's boundaries and representation arrangements.

Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Alasdair Thompson says many concerns have been alleviated by the proposal and the boundaries represent pretty good communities of interest.