Published 26 October 2009
While other councils in the Auckland region have worried about wards & local board membership under the new governance structure, Franklin District Council has been trying to work out how splitting the district across 3 councils will affect communities of interest.
Franklin has already been split between the Auckland & Waikato regions. Under Auckland’s new governance structure, most of it will fall under the new unitary Auckland Council, some will become part of the Waikato District and some will fall under the Hauraki District (both parts of the Waikato region).
The Franklin District Council said in its submission to the Local Government Commission on Friday the area of present-day Franklin remaining within the Auckland Council area should be a ward of the new council, and a local board should cover the same area and have 7 members. The board would have 3 electoral subdivisions.
About 17,500 of Franklin’s population would be transferred to the Waikato, leaving a proposed ward of about 45,500 people – short of the ±10% margin around 70,000 people in each of the new Auckland Council’s wards, which would require wards of 63-77,000 people.
The council considered the only option to increase numbers in the ward – raiding north of the current Franklin – unacceptable because areas to the north of Franklin would have no direct access to the Franklin board, except through Papakura. “The natural community of interest of this northern area is focused more towards Auckland City itself, and to Papakura or Manukau.”
Franklin mayor Mark Ball said the district council had proposed some changes to boundaries proposed by the parliamentary select committee, “for practical governance reasons and to maintain communities”.
The select committee set the southern boundary at the existing regional council boundary between Auckland & Waikato, excluding the Mangatawhiri River & Mangatangi Stream catchments and the eastern coastal area to Kaiaua.
Mr Ball said this boundary would split communities of interest, such as the southern part of Waiuku township from the rest of the town, and Buckland from Pukekohe. The district council has recommended that all of Waiuku & Buckland be in the Auckland Council area, along with a small area north of Mill Rd, currently part of Waikato.
The Local Government Commission will release its formal proposal on Friday 20 November for public consultation. It will issue its final determination by Monday 1 March 2010.
Website: Franklin council submission
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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.