VIDEO: Waimakariri District Council Meeting Recap - February 2017

The first council meeting for the year was mostly procedural matters with only a couple items of interest. Mayor David Ayers began the meeting with a minute’s silence, paying respects to the loss of several council colleagues in the last few months:

  • Karen Eastwood - Woodend-Sefton Community Board
  • Peter McMorran – District Council 1989-1992
  • Richard Cocker – WDC Building Unit

On a brighter note, the awarding of Queen’s honours in the New Year’s Honours List to several Waimakariri residents was also noted and celebrated.

From there, the meeting turned to business with a discussion around the fluoridation of water supply. The government has made a proposal that responsibility for decisions around fluoridation be moved from councils to district health boards. The council position in the submission to the parliamentary select committee is that since it is a national health issue, policy around fluoridation should be made at a national level.

Mayor Ayers noted that no Waimakariri water supply was currently fluoridated and that he hadn’t seen strong demand for it to happen. It was further stated that should the government decide water supplies must be fluoridated; the council would be looking for financial support from government to enact the scheme.

The second issue debated was the appointment of an independent member of the council’s risk and audit committee. Several councils around the country have an independent member and find it useful. Due to the qualifications of the staff on the committee and the existing oversight provided by the elected members of council, it was decided that it was not currently necessary to appoint an independent member.

The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, 7 March.