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Representation review information shared at community meeting

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About 40 people attended a community meeting at Hastings District Council last night [August 2] to hear more detailed information about the upcoming representation review of Council’s governance structure.

Streamed live on Facebook, the meeting also reached about 700 people watching online, and gave an overview of why the review was happening and what was involved.

Electionz.com representative Darryl Griffin outlined the aims of the review: to decide how many councillors should be on council, how councillors should be elected (to represent the district as a whole and/or through a ward system), and whether or not to have community boards.

Council group manager strategy and development Craig Cameron thanked those who attended and watched online.

“By April next year we will have a new local authority governance structure and I encourage you to share your views on what that may look like as we go through this process.”

As a local authority, Hastings District Council is required to review how it is represented around the Council table at least once every six years.

The last representation review was held in 2018, but the Council decision to introduce Māori wards earlier this year means another review is required in 2021. The outcome of this will apply to the 2022 and 2025 local elections.

Among other matters, Council needs to decide whether to have one or more Māori ward/s.

The number of Māori ward councillors is determined by a formula in the Local Electoral Act 2001 based on the total number of councillors elected from wards.

For Hastings district, with a total of eight or fewer councillors elected from wards there must be one Māori ward councillor, with nine to 13 councillors there must be two Māori ward councillors and with 14 to 18 councillors there must be three Māori ward councillors.

Council must also consider whether councillors are elected by ward, or a combination of by ward and across the whole district (at large), and the names of the wards.

And it must decide whether or not to have any community boards, and if so, the number, boundaries and names of the boards, and the number of members for each board.

People are invited to give their feedback to help inform the initial proposal by August 9, and this proposal will be notified on August 23, after which another round of formal consultation will be held and people given the opportunity to make submissions.

Mr Griffin said there are two opportunities to make submissions and or appeal or object to the decisions made by Council.

“Only those who made submissions to the initial proposal are eligible to appeal or object to the final proposal. But if Council changes its initial proposal to something different and the final proposal is different from the initial proposal, then that opens it up to everyone. The Council has a month to advertise or notify its final proposal. These are legislative guidelines and we can’t change them.”

To give feedback on the proposal go to www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz or fill out the form and drop it in the submission boxes at the Council Customer Service Centre on 207 Lyndon Road East, or the Hastings, Flaxmere or Havelock North libraries.

For more information go to www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/representation

6 August 2021

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