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No voting required this year for Eastbourne, Makara/Ohariu

Oct 10th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News

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RELAXING IN EASTBOURNE : No community board votes this year

EASTBOURNE AND MAKARA/OHARIU voters will not have a say in who will represent them on their community boards this year.

In both areas, which come under Wellington City Council and Lower Hutt Council respectively, the number of candidates  running for the community boards has matched the number required.

This has meant that neither board is required to be part of the election process.

Each board will have new faces, though, as new candidates have replaced the three members from the boards deciding not to run again, two from Eastbourne and one from Makara/Ohariu.

ecb-derek-wilshereDerek Wilshere, right, most recent chairman of the Eastbourne Community Board, is one of those standing down and he believes the board will face challenges with two new members joining.

“The job takes about three years to learn. It’s a big learning curve for the board with only two experienced members,” Mr Wilshere says.

He says the lack of candidates is not to do with a lack of interest in the two open positions but “a lack of interest in [the elections] all together”.

Fellow member Sarah Crawford also decided not to continue on the community board.

Taking their places will be Hayden Ray and Gilane Khalil.

Mr Ray, who teaches at Muritai School, wants to see Eastbourne become a “safe driving community”.

He is also interested in the elderly having a stronger voice in the community.

Ms Khalil does not live in the area but loves the village feel of Eastbourne.

She feels that, although people are against local government amalgamation, it is going to happen anyway and she wants to help people through the process.

On the Makara/Ohariu Community Board, it is deputy chairman Gavin Bruce who has decided to stand down this year.

Mr Bruce says that the number of people putting themselves forward for the Makara/Ohariu community board is usually pretty low.

He says the purpose of the board is not to make the big decisions but “to keep an eye on its community”.

The Makara/Ohariu Community Board faced the same situation at the last local body elections, in 2010, when the number of candidates and number of seats vacant was the same and so no vote was required.

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