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Council make-up reflects changing population

16 April 2018

New housing developments will be brought into existing urban Council wards if minor changes proposed under a Representation Review are accepted.

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 makeup 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”.

After calling for public input last year into what matters should be considered, a report on that feedback was put before councillors in March. The feedback 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.

Based on that feedback, councillors decided to recommend leaving the current system largely in place, with just slight boundary changes to take into account new urban developments which would otherwise be included in rural wards.

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 that the Rural Community Board would remain in place.

Council is now calling on residents to have their say on the recommendations before a final decision is made. For more information and to put in a submission (by May 18) see: myvoicemychoice.co.nz/representation-review-0

16 April 2018

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