Wellington Scoop
Network

J’ville and Newlands residents want community board for better representation

News from JCA and NPPA
Two Northern Wellington residents groups (JCA and NPPA) today announced the launch of a campaign to attract 2000 signatures in support of an application to formally establish a new Johnsonville-Newlands Community Board.

Since announcing plans on June 9 to apply for a Community Board, surrounding suburbs have been consulted and boundaries have been finalised. Suburbs included in the proposed new Johnsonville–Newlands Community Board application are Newlands, Paparangi, Woodridge & Johnsonville. Residents from these suburbs will be covered by the proposed new Board, and all voters registered in that zone are urged to “Sign your Support” to the application now.

“Its time for our four suburbs to take charge of their own future, and creating a new Community Board is the best chance to achieve that”, says Community Board application co-ordinator and JCA President, Graeme Sawyer. “Our people love their community, but they know it has not been treated well by the powers-that-be in years gone by. The huge and ongoing growth we have underway right now will badly erode our quality of life, unless we put this mechanism in place to ensure our needs are better understood, and met, by the WCC in the future”.

Establishment of a new Community Board is aimed at increasing effective representation at the Wellington City Council for the people resident within the Community, and improving democracy at the Community level. Amid the challenges of rapid new residential development (and medium density re-development) of the area, a Community Board is needed to coordinate and lead community-led solutions for WCC, so that the environment and quality of life for this community is maintained as demands on infrastructure continue grow at record rates.

Under Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act, a community-initiated proposal is required for the WCC to consider a resolution to establish a new Community Board. A petition with the signed support of at least 10% of all registered voters living within the Community is required in support of the application.

Full details, benefits, “Q&A” and boundaries for the proposed new Community Board are available on www.NewCommunityBoard.co.NZ and on Facebook. Residents are encouraged to become fully informed.

Residents of Newlands, Paparangi, Woodridge & Johnsonville can sign their support for the proposal at community events and local retailers over the next two months. “The number of supporters we need to attach for our application is huge, so we need people to be proactive, and hunt down places where they can sign it” says Sawyer. “It’s a tiny thing for people to do, but we expect the benefits to our Community over time will be substantial”.

Volunteers will attend stands at many community fairs and events over the next two months to gather signatures of residents from within these four suburbs. Supporters are asked to sign early, and to encourage their friends & families to do the same. Events in the coming week where residents may “sign your support” include:

Saturday 7 November – Johnsonville Mall (9am-5:30pm)

Sunday 7 November – Johnsonville School Community Market – 7:00am – 3:00pm)

– Paparangi School Gala (10:00am – 3:00pm)

– St Brigids School Fair (10:00am – 3:00pm)

Organisers hope to submit their application to WCC in February, and it is hoped that the first Community Board election will be held at the Local Body Elections in October 2016.

Population of New Community Area. Average growth between last two censuses was 10.4%, well over twice the average for Wellington City as a whole, and three times that of equivalent outer suburbs in southern and eastern Wellington. Growth is Huge, and infrastructure is suffering from decades of underinvestment. This “community of interest” encompasses a population of about 21,578. Or 11.3% of Wellington’s total population.

Demographics of Johnsonville. A huge spike in pre-school age children is having a massive impact on school rolls in the Community. Newlands has seen similar growth and demographic changes. http://profile.idnz.co.nz/wellington/single-year-of-age?WebID=200
The unprecedented boom in younger demographics is placing huge pressure on education and recreation in our community. Planning from the WCC assumes intensification would attract an older demographic, but locals knew it would attract young families instead, and this is now proven. WCC continue to fail to understand or adequately support the growth they themselves have encouraged in our community: A Community Board is needed to coordinate community-led solutions so that our quality of life is maintained.

5 comments:

  1. Victor Davie (Lambton), 5. November 2015, 10:45

    Well done JCA and NPPA. Hopefully your Ward representatives are supporting your proposal. Hutt City Council has three Community Boards and all are in residential areas.

     
  2. Jim Candiliotis, 5. November 2015, 11:39

    Thank you Victor, unfortunately it will be an uphill battle as Councils don’t like giving up, devolving power despite what they may say publicly.

     
  3. Ian Apperley, 5. November 2015, 15:02

    Excellent work. Let me know if I can help with spreading the word. The more power the community has the better.

     
  4. George Roberts, 8. November 2015, 7:09

    A Community Board is a great start, but what Johnsonville needs is to completely break away from Wellington. Johnsonville is no more a part of Wellington than the Hutt or Porirua, and as such requires its own council and mayor, who will have the community at its heart.

     
  5. Mary M, 8. November 2015, 10:17

    The WCC don’t listen to the community now. We already have community groups and in many cases the groups such as Mt Cook Mobilized seem to be closely aligned with the WCC. Multiple $100,000 community boards will not address any of the problems or change the WCC’s lack of transparency. Everyone knows in the political sphere that all you need is a few top level corrupt members of the boards to thwart them. Then you’d have multiple community boards all working like the dysfunctional DHBs. Look at our “healthcare” system: the boards do not listen to clinical input from nurses, doctors or the patients.