Alex Swney and Greg McKeown write in the Herald:
The commissioners have suggested that communities are better represented by two councillors rather than one, so they have gone for huge wards, more than twice the size of general electorates, with two councillors each.
If that is such a good idea, why don’t we double the size of general electorates and have two MPs per electorate? At the centre of this is a debate about parochialism – somehow two councillors will be less parochial than one. Strong local representation at all levels of local government, including the new Auckland Council, is healthy and required.
I tend to favour smaller wards with just one Councillor each. I think you get better informed decision making when voters have to select just one representative than multiple.
There’s a lot of talk about representation for communities of interest. But under the commissioners’ draft plan, the people of Paritai Drive, Orakei, and Princes St, Otahuhu, have been lumped together in a ward with 161,400 voters and two councillors.
How awful for the good people of Otahuhu.