By Ruci Farrell - firstname.lastname@example.org
The proposal to split Manukau ward into two, ahead of next year's local government elections, has local board authorities up in arms.
Auckland Council's Governing Body last week voted 9 to 8 in favour of the split which will see Ōtara-Papatoetoe and Māngere-Ōtāhuhu evolve into two separate wards.
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli says it is a blatant attempt to weaken the voices of South Auckland's diverse communities.
She says there's no reason to split the ward as it will not give any extra votes.
"If you think of Manukau as one ward right now, we've got two votes at the governing body. After the split the Ōtara-Papatoetoe ward will have one vote and the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu ward will have one vote."
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli. Photo/ Auckland Council.
Fuli says Manukau is the only diverse representative ward on the governing body and the changes are likely to impact on how these communities are represented.
It is understood the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board also does not support the proposal.
Fuli is calling on Manukau residents to voice their opinions when the proposal goes out for public consultations on August 8.