Foxton community may lose town's extra representation
The Foxton Community Board's days could be numbered if the community backs a Horowhenua District Council plan.
Last week seven district councillors voted to disband the community board that has been in existence since local government reforms in 1989. The community now gets a chance to express opinions on whether the board should stay or go.
Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy said he believed the community board had had its day and that the community was well represented without it.
"My personal observation is that there is a plethora of ratepayer groups who brilliantly represent their communities of interest, so you have to ask the question why we have the board. There's also the opportunity that some of the $140,000 the board costs each year could be saved."
During the local government reforms Foxton was changed from Manawatu to within Horowhenua's boundary and the Foxton Community Board was set up as a way of the town maintaining its identity. Its first chairman was Tom Robinson, who later went on to become mayor of Horowhenua.
Councillor Anne Hunt said she thought at the time it was vital but now it was time to review it.
She said it would be good for the Horowhenua District Council to be one unit and making decisions for the whole district, including Foxton. "We will finally become a united district."
The public will get a month to make submissions. Foxton Beach resident Christina Paton said the board should go but she was sure that not everyone would agree with her. "I'd expect to see a few arguments about this."
Board chairman Neville Gimblett was reluctant to express an opinion about the board's future. "I wouldn't want to lead the community with my opinion one way or another," he said.
"We will see what the submitters have to say."
Also under consultation is whether the Kere Kere ward boundary should change to take in the northern end of the Waiopehu ward as part of the council's representation review. This includes Waitarere Beach and some farmland on the southern side of the Manawatu River.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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