Blink and you’ll miss it news flash!
July 5 2021 by Scott Stevens, Ex-QLDC Councillor, Arrowtown Resid
QLDC has opened a formal submission period for how we vote for Councillors in local government elections.
One aspect of the recommendation is to increase the number of QLDC Councillors from 10 to 12. As someone with first-hand knowledge, I can tell you the “part time” role of a QLDC Councillor is far from part time in commitment levels. It is a very busy organisation that needs continuous input from its governance team. An increase in numbers may well spread the workload, but with respect for the important governance role these community representatives do, you might think we need less politicians in the QLDC not more. Well, don’t just think it, email your opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever the final number of Councillors and how they are distributed, this review is particularly critical to the people of Arrowtown being the smallest ward in the QLDC and in serious threat of being absorbed into the wider growth areas that stretch all the way to Jacks Point. Do Arrowtowners want to keep their dedicated Councillor with a strong voice for Arrowtown issues. Or have a bigger say in the politics of a larger ward that might include the Arrowtown Preschool and Rugby Club catchments of Arthurs Point, Shotover Country and Lake Hayes Estate.
But this is not all about Arrowtown. How do you see your community fitting in with other communities of interest under the new proposal? Exactly what communities are we talking about here, referred to under the Local Government Commission as “Communities of Interest”? The QLDC plan is to split the Whakatipu Ward into two, creating a new 3 councillor Kawarau Ward encompassing the vast residential developments from Lake Hayes Estate, Shotover Country, Hanley Farm, Jack’s Point to Kingston. And the Whakatipu Ward with 4 councillors covering the rest of the Whakatipu Basin.
If you live in Arthurs Point, what common interests do you share with Shotover Country? And what does Shotover Country share with Jack’s Point? Do you travel between these communities for work, for sporting reasons, schooling? Or is the only thing you have in common the shared personality trait of being generally nice, happy, caring people living the dream in the wider Whakatipu?
Maybe this review process is trying to be too tricky and the Whakatipu, despite our population growth is just too small to divide into 3 separate wards. So many questions - therefore public feedback is so important. Because having the ability should you wish, to reach out and connect with our representatives and to know them as real people living in our communities is vitally important to achieving the outcomes you want for our region over the years to come.