Boards get full backing
The Taihape and Ratana community boards will be retained for next year's local body elections because of strong public support.
The Rangitikei District Council (RDC) had proposed scrapping the district's two boards in favour of more cost-effective community committees, which it believed could do the same job.
"The cost of the community board to Ratana ratepayers is considered disproportionate to the effectiveness of representation they receive," a council report said.
However, a large number of public submissions and two opposing petitions swayed the council, which voted to keep the boards.
"It was a very vehement response from the community," mayor Chalky Leary said.
"I think we need to stick with the community board structure as it stands."
Ratana Community Board deputy chair Audrey Williams, who presented an oral submission to the council last month, was pleased with the outcome, with the majority of the community wanting the board to stay.
"I've never seen the people come out in so much force," she said.
Ms Williams said the Ratana community initially had not realised a switch to community boards would save ratepayers money but was happy to see the continuation of the boards for now.
"Let's put it on stay for now and see how it goes in the next six years, and then decide."
The Ratana Community Board will have four members and an appointed councillor who will also carry voting rights.
It will be the same scenario for the Taihape board, except it will have two councillors.
At present the Taihape board costs its ratepayers $28,962 a year, to service, and the Ratana board costs $11,635.