Nelson City Council gave a unanimous vote of support to a refreshed governance structure that focuses on Covid-19 rebuild, addressing housing affordability, and strengthening community engagement.
The changes allow for increased Māori participation in Council decision-making by taking forward a proposal to appoint Māori representatives to both the Urban Development and Strategic Development and Properties subcommittees.
Council continues to support reform of the Local Electoral Act 2001 to make it the requirements to establish a Māori Ward the same as a general ward but until this occurs Mayor Reese says it is important to increase Māori representation in decision making through other means.
“The presence of Māori representatives on the subcommittees directly involved in the COVID-19 recovery will add significant value.”
Further representation on Council committees will be considered in consultation with the Iwi-Council Partnership Group, as part of next year’s Long Term Plan preparation.
Both the Urban Development Subcommittee and the Strategic Development and Property Subcommittee are new subcommittees, introduced as part of a revised governance structure to drive good quality urban development that reflects Council’s focus on affordable housing choice and intensification, and enable enhanced engagement and partnership to support strategic development and property outcomes.
“Council is committed to moving ahead with our plans to improve housing affordability and choice, while engaging strongly with our community to ensure Nelsonians are part of these changes to our Smart Little City. We will only reach our goals by working together with the community and business groups as we rebuild following the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mayor Reese.
Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar, who chairs the Urban Development Subcommittee says the new structure reflects the Council’s focus on housing and city-centre development and will mean major projects will be able to be advanced quicker and engagement with the community and business will be strengthened.
“Both of our new subcommittees will have the power to undertake informal community engagement on matters within their areas of responsibility. This increases the ability of councillors to engage directly with the community.”
At the meeting held on Thursday, 5 November a number of other changes were made to The Council Delegations Register as a result of the change in governance structure.
The Council Delegations Register sets out the areas of responsibility, functions, powers and duties that Council retains, or delegates to committees, sub-committees, subordinate decision-making bodies and the Chief Executive.
The update to the register also confirmed the appointment of Council members to the Urban Development Subcommittees, the Strategic Development and Property Subcommittee and the City Centre Engagement Group, confirmed the membership of the Audit, Risk and Finance Subcommittee and amended membership of the Forestry Subcommittee.
A full list of the changes made to the Council Delegations Register can be found here: http://meetings.nelson.govt.nz/Open/2020/11/CL_20201105_AGN_3354_AT_EXTRA_WEB.htm