Community Boards

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Community boards are elected at the same time as the council. Their main role is to represent and speak on behalf of their community. They may also have some decision-making responsibilities for local services. At the moment, we have community boards in Eastbourne, Petone and Wainuiomata. As an important part of a representation review, communities need to be aware of the nature and role of community boards, including the potential for them to have significant local decision-making responsibilities if given these by the council.

  • three community boards were established in Eastbourne, Petone and Wainuiomata when these areas were added to the city in 1989 as part of the local government reforms at the time
  • 39 out of 66 councils across Aotearoa New Zealand have one or more community boards in their area, including Hutt City Council

  • of the 39 councils with community boards, 11 have boards covering the whole city or district

  • community boards may have between 4 and 12 members in total

  • the board members are elected at the same time as councillors every three years

  • community board members are paid at a rate determined by the Remuneration Authority largely based on the population of the community board area

  • Hutt City Council has given these decision-making responsibilities to its three community boards:

    1. naming of streets, parks and reserves in their area

    2. removal and planting of street trees

    3. granting of leases and licences for occupying council property including recreation reserves

    4. allocation of funding from council approved budgets

    5. funding for training and development of community board members

(some councils have given their community boards more significant decision-making responsibilities than Hutt City Council)

  • potential benefits of community boards need to be weighed against their costs including the remuneration of board members and administrative support by the Council

  • the effectiveness of community boards can be measured, in part at least, in relation to the powers and resources they have been given by the Council

  • when considering the option of having community boards we need to look at fair and effective representation along with:

    1. the possibility the area may not be well represented on council due to its low population, low councillor numbers and/or absence of wards

    2. the distinctiveness of the community concerned and the strength of a sense of identity within the community

    3. difficulty with physical access to councillors, council offices and staff

    4. the council is seeking to establish structures to allow council decision-making to take place closer to the people affected by particular council decisions

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