One more Councillor or three more Councillors – not a true choice

Stuff reports:

Up to three additional Christchurch City councillors could be elected at next year’s local body elections as part of a post-quake representation shake-up.

After studying population shifts since the 2010 and 2011 quakes, council staff are putting forward two options for re-jigging the city’s representation arrangements. …

Under the first option, Christchurch and Banks Peninsula will be carved into 14 wards. Under the second option, they will be divided into 16 wards.

Each ward will be represented by one councillor to deliver either a council of 14 or 16, plus the mayor.

The current Council has 13 Councillors (plus the Mayor). So both options are to increase the number of Councillors. That’s a claytons decision. How about an option for the status quo or reducing the number?

A governance body larger than 12 members tends to struggle to do its job well, and you inevitably get an inner circle of key decison makers the bigger you get. The current total size of 14 is large enough – no need to go to 15 or 17.

I do support though the proposal to have one councillor per ward. I think you get far better informed voting in smaller wards with just one councillor to be selected, than a larger ward where you have to pick multiple councillors.


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