The Levin Morning Star *

* The Levin Morning Star......122...... Saturday 4 April 2015


 Local Authority Community Boards 


Today's update....Levin once had a vibrant Borough Council. It was abolished and The Horowhenua District Council took over all its duties and responsibilities.The same sort of reorganisation happened all over New Zealand. While it was logical and sensible to amalgamate borough councils in cities, where farmland between boroughs had been built on and a street's houses could be in two boroughs, distinct, vast farmland surrounded, boroughs were best left. It was monstrous that Levin was deprived of a home based decision making structure and a system of centralised control inflicted on the town.

The same changes occured for other New Zealand  towns, but many of these have community boards with delegated authority to run much of their own affairs. This was the community orientated promise of the nationwide reoranisation, but Levin was treated as a town not fit to exist in its own right and left to the abuse of out of town councillors who, in some cases are from where they have their own community board, yet help run a town without one. It's sad. Foxton Community Board decides if public trees are to be cut wereas, Levin has theirs cut at will, based on a young council officer's wishes, not the public's, unless newspapers campaign for trees to be saved if they publish details in time. That sort of make shift community involvement in local government is avoided in Foxton by their Community Board deciding issues to be finally approved by the full District Council. That's not as good as a community board with the final say, but necessary when community boards are not enjoyed by every town in a district.

Levin has a shocking case of community input being trampled on in the incredible situation at Kowhai Park at the west end of Queen Street. A project to develop a wetland from a natural piped spring has been stalled, midway, for over three years. The area is fenced off with temporary bright orange netting and piles of dirt are regularly weed sprayed for an industrial area, junk yard appearance. It's illogical to deprive residents of a completed park, who pay for a council to normally keep their facilites in top condition at all times. The problem is said to be over a Historic Places Trust disputes procedure. There's disagreement over the terms of the construction process to develop the wetland, where suspected or proven historic sites might be disturbed.

Had a community board been given to Levin, all interested parties would have had a say in the proposed wetland's planning and construction details. However, when the writer raised this need at a meeting to decide upon Horowhenua District community boards, Mayor Brendon Duffy strongly rejected the need for Levin to be served by community board public input. Levin still has to suffer the indignity of having its public areas controlled in a dictatorial fashion. There wasn't, for instance, full public consultation for the Western Park Petanque Court development, or the decision to let the grass grow, in the rest of it, to knee high, over six months.

Levin's sewage works' future location is to be decided by a panel chosen by the Mayor and Councillors, whereas, in Foxton, any such planning would involve the publicly voted in, Foxton Community Board, should Foxton's sewage treatment system need upgrading.

The solution is for Levin to have a Community Board from a voting age citizen's poll, as described in the article below, in blue lettering. However, if a Council rejects the petition, the Local Government Act 1974 allows for the Local Government Commission to run the community board for up to 3 years. There is thus a guarantee to citizens, irrespective of what the district council might think, as laid down in Section 7 of Schedule 6 of the Act, as follows:- 

 Appeal against refusal to constitute community

  • (1) If, following a proposal to constitute a community, a territorial authority resolves not to constitute a community, a signatory to the proposal may appeal to the Commission.

    (2) The Commission has all the powers of the territorial authority in respect of the constitution of the community, and may determine the functions of the community board for a period of up to 3 years.

    (3) Nothing in subclause (2) prevents the territorial authority from conferring further responsibilities on the community board.


Levin would only need to obtain about 1700 signatures and details on a poll to bring about the official Community of Levin in legal terms, which must then have a community board.


An example below, in red lettering added by LMS, of community board run affairs

 under delegated authority.


It's time we had this sort of local government in Levin.

It's absurd that Foxton has a community board, while the larger Levin ward area hasn't, yet Foxton Councillors vote on Levin issues without the filtration effect of a community board.




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Home > Council Business

Community Boards

Community Boards are constituted under Section 49 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Otorohanga District Council has two Community Boards - Otorohanga and Kawhia.  Otorohanga Community Board has four elected members, and two Council appointed members.  Kawhia Community Board has five elected members, of which one is elected from the Aotea community, and one Council appointed member.   Boards elect their own Chairperson.

The role of a Community Board is to:

  • Represent, and act as an advocate for the interests of its Community.
  • Consider and report on all matters referred to it by the Territorial Authority, or any matter of interest or concern to the Community Board.
  • Maintain an overview of services provided by the Territorial Authority within the Community.
  • Prepare an annual submission to the Territorial Authority for expenditure within the Community.
  • Communicate with community organisations and special interest groups within the Community.
  • Undertake any other responsibilities that are delegated to it by the Territorial Authority.

Pursuant to Clause 32 of Schedule Seven to the Local Government Act 2002 the Otorohanga District Council has delegated to the Otorohanga and Kawhia Community Boards, in respect of their community, all of Council’s functions, duties and powers relating to:

  • Refuse collection and disposal
  • Swimming Pools
  • Water supply operation and maintenance
  • Security patrols
  • Sewerage treatment and reticulation
  • Housing for the elderly
  • Flood protection
  • Community property
  • Storm water drainage
  • Medical centres

Community Boards may make recommendations to Council on any matter of interest, and may seek approval for any initiative for which delegated authority has not already been given.

Electors can seek the formation of a new Community Board.  This is achieved by following the process outlined below:

Proposals to establish a community can be initiated by:

  • Not less than 10 percent of the electors of a continuous area, having a population of 1,500 persons or more and being within the district of a Territorial Authority, may propose that the area be constituted as a community.
  • Not fewer than 100 electors of a continuous area having a population of fewer than 1,500 persons and being within the district of a Territorial authority, being electors present at a meeting called by public notice by any elector or electors and being the majority of the electors present at that meeting, may propose that the area be constituted as a community.

Requirements for a proposal:

  • A proposal to constitute a community must be accompanied by a plan or other description sufficient to identify the area.
  • Each signatory to the proposal must, against his or her signature, state his or her full name and the address in respect of which he or she possesses a qualification as an elector.
  • The proposal, or a copy of it, must be delivered or sent by post to the Chief Executive at the principal office of the Territorial Authority affected by the proposal.

The Chief Executive of the Territorial Authority must:

  • Check whether or not each signatory to the proposal possesses a qualification as an elector
  • No later than one month after receiving the proposal, forward the proposal to the Territorial Authority, together with a certificate specifying the number of signatories to the proposal who are qualified as electors.
  • In the absence of proof to the contrary, the certificate of the Chief Executive is final.
  • The Territorial Authority must then consider the proposal and determine whether or not to constitute the community.







Elizabeth Cowan


229 Barber Rd

RD 5


873 0849

Tim Jones


69 Main North Rd


873 8380

Brendon McNeil


59 Mountain View Rd


873 7842

Andrew Ormsby


Box 42


873 8300

Robert Prescott

25 Karaka Rd


873 8941

Phil Tindle


Box 88


(127I Main North Rd)

873 8810








Jan Bennett

30 Kaora St


871 0276

Kit Jeffries


49 Te Kawa St


873 7615

Hamo Ormsby


Box 23


(175 Te Puia Rd)

0871 0822

Lou Sherman


Box 38


(179 Pearl Ave)

871 0782

Kathy Workman-Beal


25 Cooper Dr

RD 1


871 0759


Proud to be a Kiwi


Levin Flowering Trees in Bloom