Temuka asks TDC to keep ward system

The Temuka Community Board is opposed to an "at large" elected Timaru District Council.

At last night's board meeting members were clear that Temuka has its own community of interest, and this was best protected through a ward system.

The Timaru District Council voted last week to abandon the ward system in favour of councillors being elected across the whole district, while retaining the three community boards of Temuka, Pleasant Point and Geraldine.

At present these three districts have one councillor each, and Timaru seven.

Board member Noeline Clarke moved that the council reconsider its proposed changes to the voting system.

"Temuka Community Board opposes the council's decision for election at large based on the grounds that Temuka is a geographically identifiable community of interest best served by separate representation.

"I feel our community would be severely disadvantaged if we didn't have local people representing us."

The board agreed that the best combination representing Temuka was to have five elected community board members and two councillors.

Chairman Pat Mulvey said the threat of local representation being taken away from the community was concerning a lot of people.

"The people that have come to me about it have got steam coming from their ears. They are really upset that council appears to be taking away the community of interest's voice, and that's one of the pillars of local government."

The Timaru Herald