How many councillors, community boards?

How many councillors should we have?  Is it fair that some parts of the city have community boards, but others don’t?  Should we stick with the current wards/ward boundaries or should be they changed to reflect different ‘communities of interest’?

Local authorities in New Zealand are required to review their elected representation arrangements at least every six years.  Hutt City Council is due to conduct such a review before the 2025 election.

Current councillors at a visit to the Koraunui Hub in Stokes Valley earlier this year.
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Where are we at with Three Waters?

For the average Kiwi, the questions they want answered by MPs and parties jostling for their votes probably revolve around the cost of living, tax fairness, housing, the environment, law & order.

The result of the October election will also herald which way central government moves on issues key to councils: Three Waters and RMA reform, transport funding, the National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (‘significant natural areas’) and even whether we’re going to see another round of local government restructuring/amalgamations.

Mandated Three Waters restructuring – or not – is a big one. 

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Creaking infrastructure gobbling up dollars

If any doubt remained over the challenges of failing Three Waters infrastructure in the Hutt (and wider in the region), latest water loss data from Wellington Water (WW) surely drowns it.

It’s an issue that throws sharp focus on the different Three Waters proposals of Labour and National as we head to the polls in October. (See ‘Where did we get to on 3 Waters reform?’)

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Fly-tippers give two-fingered salute to ratepayers

Fly-tipping is an affront to our environment – and to ratepayers forced to pick up the bill.

Hutt River Ranger Joby Mills reports that in the year to June 2023 there have been scores of cases of rubbish dumped along Te Awakairangi, diverting council staff from pest control, planting and other community tasks and costing $113,000 to deal with. 

A page from the GWRC report to councillors.

Two or three times a week he’s coming across household rubbish, piles of old tyres, broken ovens, mattresses, even offal and commercial waste such as pallets and broken up concrete.

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Gabrielle was a warning

If we needed a reminder of how vital the Riverlink project is to Lower Hutt, Cyclone Gabrielle delivered it in February.

The flooding triggered by intense rainfall – well over 400mm in some parts of Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay – engulfed homes and businesses and swept away infrastructure. Eleven people died.  The properties of half the population of Wairoa were inundated when the Wairoa River breached stopbanks.

The warning from the regional council’s Manager Flood Protection, Graeme Campbell, in April was stark: If that cyclone had hit Lower Hutt, existing central city stopbanks would not have coped.  Even with the higher, wider stopbanks planned under Riverlink, we might only have escaped a breach by the skin of our teeth.

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