Aside from some minor boundary adjustments, Hastings District Council’s representation arrangements are unchanged for the local body elections in 2019.
Every six years, councils must review their representation arrangements, including whether their wards properly reflect their populations.
Reviews also look at things like voting ‘at large’ across a district versus voting by ward, the number of councillors and the size and make up of wards.
The main aim of the Local Electoral Act, under which the review is required, is to achieve “fair and effective representation for individuals and communities”.
Consultation held in late 2017 showed that 80 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the current set up; 70 per cent wanted no change to ward boundaries; 76 per cent were happy with between 10 and 14 councillors; and 41 per cent were in favour of community boards.
After further research and based on the current population statistics, councillors recommended leaving the existing system largely in place, with just slight boundary changes to take into account new urban developments which would otherwise be included in rural wards.
In April this year the proposal was put before the public and following a public hearing of submissions, a final public notice of the decision was issued in June and with no appeals received, the proposed representation arrangements have been adopted in time for the 2019 local council elections.
The 14 district councillors would continue to be elected under the ward system: Flaxmere (2); Hastings and Havelock North (8); Heretaunga (2); Kahuranaki (1); Mohaka (1); and the Rural Community Board would remain in place.
The boundary changes would bring new housing developments such as at Iona, Howard St and Lyndhurst into the urban wards, which would better reflect their communities of interest than the rural wards.
The changes are within the Local Electoral Act rules regarding the population local councillors represent.
3 August 2018
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