Must Titahi Bay's relationship with council be so hard?

Editorial

BY MATTHEW DALLAS
Last updated 09:08 25/09/2012

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OPINION: Common ground is rarely found in Titahi Bay when it concerns the suburb's residents association and Porirua City Council.

They are regularly at loggerheads, and normally the Titahi Bay Residents Association (TBRA) and its chairman Graeme Ebbett are on the front foot.

Mr Ebbett is again trying to convince the Local Government Commission that the Bay needs its own community board, as it has distinct interests and issues that cannot effectively be represented by the soon-to-be-two seats on council.

He says the function of the board would be to advocate for Titahi Bay. I would have considered this the function of the residents association.

The function of a community board would be to add another tier of bureaucracy - at significant expense, and pointless so long as the council and community are engaged in a healthy village planning process.

The Bay has its hot issues, but are they really more demanding than what other suburbs face? Or does it just seem that way because the TBRA is always keen to stoke the flames of contention?

I'm not saying residents groups shouldn't challenge local authorities, but it does the community little good to constantly provoke an adversarial culture. Take vehicle access at the beach. Mr Ebbett is fearful existing restrictions will be weakened by council inviting the public's views.

I'd be surprised if it didn't go the other way, with public opinion backing a total ban of cars on the beach (boat ramps excluded). And if Mr Ebbett was to poll councillors, he may find there are enough votes to help make this happen.

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