Cashmere News Diary: 8 December 2015 - CCC Representation Review, Xmas
* 10 December, Thursday from 5pm - Thorrington School & Community Xmas Party, family picnic & Cashmere BBQ, entertainment for children, 22A Colombo St - flyer:
* 15 December, Tuesday from 7:30pm - Christmas carols and lighting of the tree on the Green at Rhodes on Cashmere Retirement Village, 5 Overdale Drive - entertainment for children, ice creams and coffee cart on site for refreshments. Thank you Arvida/Rhodes and local churches! - flyer:* 21 December, Monday 4pm - deadline for Appeals and Objections on the city council Representation Review - please print, circulate, sign and return the petition here. Are 16 city councillors needed? Up from 13, 14 would be enough - without destroying the boundaries that communities must work to as identifiable suburbs. It is poor representation by elected members to encourage the division of Christchurch into 16 ill-fitting parts: these divide older, densely populated and lower-income inner-city suburbs, to multiply career openings for board members to become councillors! The proposed community board areas for south Christchurch - by Council, and then as amended in the petition proposal - are pictured here: The gross over-representation for Banks Peninsula must end, where one vote counts for four in the city to elect a councillor. The Local Government Commission want CCC to fix this but the challenge has defeated them. Public demand for fairness and equity should outweigh Council's pitch for continued exemption from rigorous representation rules. Arguments supporting the petition are: Undue increase in councillor number with damage to the Christchurch community board structure, both of which a majority reject. Like the councillor growth-push, Banks Peninsula expectations in the Review process have been extreme. The Banks Peninsula wish-list has been unrealistically long, as follows: i. Banks Peninsula absorption into the Christchurch rate-payer base - DONE, against city wishes. ii. Banks Peninsula has Christchurch conform to single-member, smaller-population wards - DONE. iii. Request of one whole Banks Peninsula ward with exceptional community of interest - REJECTED. iv. That Council renege on good governance principles to except Banks Peninsula ward - REJECTED. An increase from one councillor to two, serving around half the current large Banks Peninsula area each, will serve Banks Peninsula communities far better than the current arrangement, logically. Banks Peninsula ward appeared as a gerrymander supporting the mayor who introduced it and it continues to support the current mayor. We support the Local Government Commission ruling against the Banks Peninsula ward gerrymander being able to continue any longer. Banks Peninsula infrastructure is now heavily subsidised by Christchurch city, including democracy costs. Of course, this does not entitle the tail to wag the dog. So long as democracy is served fairly and effectively for the Peninsula, the majority voice of Christchurch city should proportionately be heard. Council's claim of Banks Peninsula being one "isolated community" holds no water, due to heavy use made of the Lyttelton Road Tunnel and State Highway 75. Christchurch resident interests are strong throughout the Peninsula, and this is the primary consideration here: achieving fair representation for all. Review consultation has not engaged city communities effectively. It seemed designed to fragment them and create an electoral map that disengaged and disabled suburbs and their community organisations. More symmetry should be created in the south between east and west, between the combined two Linwood Heathcote-Lyttelton-Mount_Herbert community boards and the two Spreydon Cashmere Halswell-Akaroa-Wairewa boards, having 10 and 12 elected members each in total. A relating of the paired boards would be enabled this way, for the future. Balancing north and south, the north-west and the south-west triple-ward board areas are better resourced to maintain the boards of 9 members, and this incorporates the city growth-trend westward. In the east generally, smaller boards of 6 should prove more agile for responding to the many local earthquake-recovery issues. Better distribution of small and large boards: one of 4, one of 5, four of 6, and two of 9 members. Communities clearly said what they wanted in the pre-consultation: to retain something similar to the present community board system. Council can do better in not ignoring this. Adding one extra board member to the five areas where the number is even is acceptable - these are mostly in east Christchurch where representation needs are greater. To do this, the merging of the four paired wards into single wards, with elections held at large within them, may be required. This adjustment would prevent tied votes, but Christchurch residents have neither appetite nor city budget for representation cost increases. The reduced number, of 35 board members in total, is therefore proposed. Existing community board area relationships are important, holding significant prior investment. They should not be rewritten for any particular whim. e.g. Sydenham has zero community of interest, as proposed by Council, with Heathcote-to-Sumner; though it does have strong community of interest with all other former tramway suburbs south to Cashmere. Keeping the current community board commercial/residential area intact as much as possible is imperative. In memory of the NZ historical moment that linked the temperance and women's franchise movements between Sydenham and Cashmere especially, and Christchurch's most popular Mayor ever - Tommy Taylor - amongst all that. Sydenham cannot rightfully be removed from the southern city ward! The Final Proposal undoes the good done in the Initial Proposal for Waltham and Addington areas, where both were being made whole within one southern ward and community board area. Therefore the Final Proposal is arbitrary and not supported by the consultation done, for dividing these areas up and from their preferred community board zone. 14 is the appropriate number of city councillors for 2016, for building wide agreement around. It achieves more localised representation through much smaller wards and entails the loss of five community board members from the city and peninsula areas combined. That is all the damage that communities should reasonably be expected to sustain right now - no more! * 17 February 2016, Wednesday 7.30pm - Cashmere Residents' Association committee meeting, all input welcome - contact CRA Chair. Notices
* Garden City 2.0 - company provides a not-for-profit service in Christchurch, delivering fresh, locally grown organic produce. Recently set up a pickup point on Cashmere Hill at the Emperor's New Clothes Cafe. gardencity.org.nz + facebook.com/GardenCity2.0
* Past CRA email news is indexed near page-top here, FYI: cashmere.org.nz* CRA Subscriptions 2015/16 - Association membership and renewals, at the household rate of $10 per year, can be made via our Kiwibank a/c 389005.0688810.02 - Donations help increase service and are very much appreciated. Please notify deposit by email, for confirmation by our Treasurer, and a receipt will be issued if requested: email@example.com. Or post to CRA Treasurer, c/o 112 Hackthorne Road, Christchurch 8022. Thanks again for your support of CRA. Merry Christmas! Do enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.
332-1069 or 027-406-0077
Cashmere Residents' Association (CRA)
Back to CRA link hub / home page