Make them all single member wards

Stuff reports:

Tens of thousands of Aucklanders could be voting in different wards next year if proposed changes to council ward boundaries are confirmed.

The first shake-up of Auckland Council boundaries mostly affect the central city Waitemata and Gulf ward, and the big southern Manukau ward which would be split in two. …

There has been criticism of retaining a mix of one-councillor wards, and larger two-councillor wards, with Puketapapa Local Board member David Holm calling it “short-sighted”.

“Population estimates (for local board areas) show growth over the next 10 years varying from 46 per cent in Upper Harbour to 5 per cent or less in Kaipatiki, Waitakere Ranges and Manurewa,” he said.

“Further major boundary changes for wards are inevitable if equitable representation is to be restored.”

Holm favoured moving to 20 single-councillor wards, arguing costs in the double-sized wards were too high.

I think all wards should be single councillor wards – both in Auckland and elsewhere. This will have the following advantages:

  1. Smaller wards, more closely linked to the community
  2. Just one Cr per ward means one clear representative (just as only one Electorate MP per electorate)
  3. Much easier for voters to select one person from say a list of five, than say three from a list of 15
  4. Candidates more likely to be known personally by voters in smaller wards

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