2021 – Your council, who speaks for you? Representation review responses
Do you support the Council’s initial proposal for representation arrangements for 2022?
Tell us why? User comment
At a time when finances are already tight it is irresponsible to be adding the cost of two further councillors to council rates bills. Ratepayers have already suffered an increase in their rates bills this year that far exceeds the rate of inflation in New Zealand, incomes are not increasing at anywhere close to the speed at which expenses are rising. The Council should not be adding further financial stress to the people of Hamilton, rather, it should be looking to live within its means. This may involve concentrating more money into core services and devoting less to the "nice to have" items. I strongly believe that adding two further councillors falls into the "nice to have" category, it is not necessary. Quite simply, ratepayers are not a never ending source of cash for the Council to draw upon.
Also, I strongly object to the idea that councillors should be elected on the basis of race. This is, quite simply, discriminatory and extremely undemocratic. Members of council should be elected to represent the needs and views of all constituents living in the city, not a narrow minority. That is racism at its very worst. Some may say that it is positive discrimination and mandated by the Treaty of Waitangi, I reject this absolutely. There can be no such thing as positive discrimination simply because what may be positive for one group of people is, by definition, negative for another. There is, therefore, only discrimination. I am not a Treaty scholar, but I do not believe that anywhere in the Treaty does it call for special consideration to be given to any group of people living in New Zealand. Rather, the core aim of the Treaty of Waitangi is unity of purpose and equity for all those living in this country. Having two councillors elected on the basis of race does not promote unity and equity, it simply suggests that one group is more important than another.
I support the retention of the East and West Wards, however I would like to see that the councillors should be required to live in the ward they represent. It is my view that a councillor can not properly represent a community if he or she does not live there and have a good understanding of local issues that affect residents and ratepayers.
I support the idea that the mayor is a mayor for all the city.
I do not believe community boards are necessary providing there are adequate mechanisms for getting representative feedback from citizens and ratepayers on issues that affect them. I would not want to see important decisions being made solely by bureaucrats who do not fully understand the underlying issues and concerns.
The Council will hear verbal submissions on Tuesday 9 October 2021. Do you want to speak about your submission at this meeting?