A concerned citizens group in South Wairarapa has called for one of the district’s councillors to step down from the Greytown Community Board.

It follows a council committee meeting at which Martin Bosley said the thought of giving community boards more power “terrifies” him.

“I think the idea of a community board is fundamentally a good one but I think the mechanics of it and who ends up there is problematic at best,” the councillor said.

The comments were made during representation review discussions after which the council voted to progress a consultation proposal to disestablish the district’s three community boards.

The Citizens for Democratic Quality Community Governance said it appeared to them that Bosley had “lost confidence in the role of the Greytown Community Board”.

“With this in mind, and considering the [Terms of Reference of the board], councillor Bosley may be only too happy to relinquish his role as a councillor representative on the Community Board,” they said.

One of the members of the citizens group was Greytown Community Board (GCB) member Warren Woodgyer. But Bosley said the statements made by the group had misrepresented his views and intentions regarding the board.

“I wish to clarify that I have not lost confidence in the role of the Greytown Community Board, and I have no intention of resigning from my position as a councillor representative on the Greytown Community Board,” Bosley said.

“While the council undertakes a representation review, including the role of community boards, I have questioned if they are still fit for purpose.

“The Greytown Community Board itself only has one elected member, with the rest appointed due to a lack of candidates standing for election.

“I fully support the work the Greytown Community Board is currently doing, am an active board member, and I have committed to keeping an open mind as to the overall future of community boards.”

He said any suggestion that he had lost confidence in the Greytown Community Board was “completely unfounded and do not reflect my views or statements”.

“On the contrary, I remain committed to working collaboratively with the Greytown Community Board and supporting its initiatives to benefit our community.”

The Citizens for Quality Community Governance group asked South Wairarapa District Council’s chief executive Janice Smith to place the issue on a council agenda for discussion and a determination by councillors.

“We believe that … councillor Bosley has crossed the line in his public statements about Community Board representation.”

They noted the Terms of Reference for South Wairarapa District Council community boards state a person should raise their concerns about the community board’s performance with the community board first.

“If they feel their concerns have not been addressed, they should raise the matter with the chief executive if it is a management matter or the Mayor if it is a governance matter,” the document states.

“We feel that the above issues are of sufficient importance to be placed on a South Wairarapa District Council committee agenda for discussion and a determination by councillors,” the citizens group said

A council spokesperson told Local Democracy Reporting that the group’s request would not be taken further or discussed at council.

Members of the group are: Warren Woodgyer, Mike Gray, Perry Cameron, Claire Bleakley, Mary Tipoki, and Jim Hedley.

Local Democracy Reporting is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air