Wakatipu needs its own representative - Mayor
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden is calling for a Wakatipu "bum on a seat" at the Otago Regional Council table, saying the lakes district's fast-growing population demands it.
Existing representation of the Queenstown Lakes District on the regional council, by two non-residents, was neither effective or fair, Ms van Uden said yesterday, and an upcoming regional council representation review was a "perfect" opportunity to shift the status quo.
"Historically our regional council representation has been via two candidates from the Dunstan Region, an area that combines Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes," she said.
"With all due respect to the current sitting members, neither of whom resides in the Lakes District, it's time we had a bum on a seat around the regional council table."
Queenstown lakes district Council ratepayers also contributed to the regional council's environmental services, including air, water and transport, Ms van Uden said.
She proposed the Dunstan constituency, with a population of just over 37,000, be split in two and a Wakatipu constituency be created.
The Dunstan population of 30,500 people would be represented by two regional council residents and the Wakatipu constituency by one.
Under the proposal Arrowtown and Wanaka would remain in the Dunstan ward.
Otago Regional Council chief executive officer Graeme Martin would not be drawn on the proposal, only saying the regional council's decision on the matter would be made at its next full meeting on August 8.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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