Viewpoint – Open to view

Kia ora and happy Matariki everyone. In keeping with the current lights and stars theme, it’s appropriate to share that very soon we will be shedding more light on how we make our decisions. At the June business meeting, I was very proud to propose a change to our processes and be part of the Rodney Local Board team who supported a six month trial to open our workshops to the public.

Being open and transparent with our decision-making is incredibly important, particularly at a time when many are wary of governance decisions made behind closed doors. So, from July 21, you will be able to observe our workshops, apart from any sensitive items which may need to be confidential. This is common in any governance role; even School Board of Trustees at times have closed committee items when necessary.

A key role for the local board is to represent community views, and I am hopeful that open workshops will make this part of our role more robust. I have seen in my fellow board members that we are each trying our best to make decisions in the best interests of the communities we serve. We, of course, have differing views on things, and that is fine, so do our community members. Robust discussion and questioning is a key part in nutting out any decision. This usually happens during our workshops, which are for information gathering purposes, where staff provide us with advice and reports and are available for our questions. With these no longer confidential, we will be also able to discuss these items with the public, further informing our decisions.

Another way you can inform our decision-making is through our local board objectives. On top of business as usual, the last few months have been incredibly hectic with budgets, consultations, local board plans, work programmes and extra communications caused by weather events. So, we understand how hard it is to add something to your ‘to do’ list. However, this consultation is very important for setting our future direction as a local board. Our three-year local board plan has been prepared strongly bearing in mind the feedback you have already given. This is your opportunity to review that draft plan and provide further feedback before it is finalised.

Feedback is open now and closes on August 14. You can read our draft local board plan and fill in an online form at the website You can also give feedback to local board members at the following events: Wednesday, July 26, 4-6pm at the Kumeū meeting room, Kumeū Library and Council Services, 296 Main Road, Huapai or Wednesday, August 9, 4-6pm at the Rodney Local Board Office, 3 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth.

You can have up to 10 minutes to present, and board members may ask questions for clarification. If you wish, you can support a presentation with a PowerPoint or written information. To book your slot, please email