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Letters – Community Boards

August 24, 2021 August 2021, Regular Features No Comments

Recently my husband and I took up the invite from the Mayor, June edition of the Martinborough Star, to attend a Community Board Meeting in Martinborough.  We attended a meeting on Thursday 8 July 2021.  The Martinborough Community Board held an extremely good meeting with a full house of public attendance. 

We witnessed a variety of locals speaking on their concerns relating to the South Wairarapa District Council and their community.  Genuine grass roots issues being brought to the elected members table for consideration.

The June edition had the Mayor calling for public opinion of the functionally of the Community Board.  Our opinion, which we took from the meeting; the importance of a Community Board, setting a platform for members of the public to highlight their issues, where else could this happen if not for the Community Board?  

We listened to at least an hour of complaints from roading with a key focus on Hinakura, street and square lighting, the proposed Martinborough Innovating Streets Program, proposed rates rise, rubbish bag price rise, Councils lack of public consultation, communication, and transparency to people questioning Council’s performance and accountability.  It made for a fascinating and informative meeting.  We had no idea there was this much unease in the Martinborough community with relation to Council.

We were impressed with the Board’s knowledge on how to use the standing orders to maximise public participation. The Chair allowed for people to have their say and the members of the Board engaged well.  The vote of no confidence in the Councils consultation process shows the strength of the Community Board in listening to the public and sending a clear message to Council.  We felt that this not so newly formed Community Board did well considering the size and flavour of the meeting.  

In terms of functionality, we felt that the Community Board met the brief on advocating for their community.  They used the adopted Standing Orders to benefit the public, displayed skill in running a meeting and engaged well with the public.  Well done, and thank you for an evening that made for good discussion over a beer or two afterwards.    Lee Carter

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