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Coastal representation now missing on WDC PDF Print
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Articles - Local Government
Written by womentravel, Bream Bay - a slice of paradise!   
Saturday, 05 April 2008

One of the results of the recent WDC Elections, is that neither the Tutukaka Coast or Bream Bay Coastal areas have any representation on the new Council. In the past Robin Leiffering has been a strong advocate for coastal issues and with her retirement along with boundary changes and local voting patterns, the result is that this voice is now absent.

While Councillors are responsible for acting in the interest of the District as a whole, the aim of local government is to get as wide as possible representation into Council, so that particular voices and interests are represented there. The Local Government New Zealand website states “Local democracy is… …about having the right mix of people, elected locally, to best represent a particular community”.

These two coastal areas are under intense development pressure, and they are also two of the great Icons of Whangarei. What happens in these areas will greatly affect the future of the Whangarei District. Failure to have representation from these areas is a great loss to democracy. Of course some may say that my point of view is slanted as I was standing in Bream Bay as a coastal person and did not get in. But I think the principle is broader than me, and the same scenario has been played out in the Hikurangi/Coastal ward - a largely rural inland area paired with a strongly coastal area. In both Wards the two candidates who won did not come from the Coastal area of the Ward.

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