Councillor under fire for saying giving boards more power is ‘scary’

A group of concerned citizens in South Wairarapa have called for one of the district’s councillors to resign from the Greytown Community Board.

This follows a council committee meeting where Martin Bosley said the idea of ​​giving community boards more power “terrifies” him.

“I think the idea of ​​a community board is fundamentally good, but I think the mechanics of it and who ends up on it are problematic at best,” the councilman said.

The comments were made during representation review discussions after which the council voted to move forward with a consultation proposal to disestablish the district’s three community boards.

Citizens for Quality Democratic Community Governance said it felt Bosley had “lost confidence in the role of the Greytown Community Board.”

“With this in mind and considering the board’s terms of reference, Councillor Bosley would be more than happy to step down from his role as the councillors’ representative on the Community Board,” they said.

One of the members of the citizens group was Greytown Community Board (GCB) member Warren Woodgyer, but Bosley said statements made by the group had misrepresented his views and intentions regarding the board.

“I want to make it clear that I have not lost confidence in the role of the Greytown Community Board and I have no intention of resigning from my position as a councillor representative on the Greytown Community Board,” Bosley said.

“As the council undertakes a review of representation, including the role of community boards, I have questioned whether they are still fit for purpose.

“The Greytown Community Board only has one elected member, with the rest being appointed due to a lack of candidates standing for election.

“I fully support the work that the Greytown Community Board is currently undertaking, am an active member of the board and have committed to keeping an open mind regarding the general future of community boards.”

He said any suggestion he had lost confidence in the Greytown Community Board was “completely unfounded and does not reflect my views or statements”.

“On the contrary, I remain committed to working collaboratively with the Greytown Community Board and supporting its initiatives to benefit our community.”

Citizens for Quality Community Governance has asked South Wairarapa District Council chief executive Janice Smith to put the issue on the council agenda for discussion and determination by councillors.

“We believe that… Councilmember Bosley has crossed a line in his public statements regarding representation on the Community Board.”

They noted that the Terms of Reference for South Wairarapa District Council community boards state that a person must raise concerns about the performance of the community board first with the community board.

“If they feel their concerns have not been addressed, they should raise the matter with the chief executive if it is a management issue or with the mayor if it is a governance issue,” the document states.

“We believe the above issues are important enough to be placed on the agenda of a South Wairarapa District Council committee for discussion and determination by councillors,” the citizens group said.

A council spokesperson told Local Democracy Reporting that the group’s application would not be taken any further or discussed at the council.

The group members are: Warren Woodgyer, Mike Gray, Perry Cameron, Claire Bleakley, Mary Tipoki and Jim Hedley.

Local Democracy Reporting is a local journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

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