Every six years we have to look at how many councillors we have in each of our three wards (Paeroa, Waihi and Hauraki Plains), and across the district overall. This is to make sure we have the right amount of people around the Council table to fairly represent the number of people that live in each of our communities.
Under the Local Electoral Act 2001 we have to consider some strict criteria around effective and fair representation, and then talk to you about whether or not we meet this criteria, and if we don’t, what changes you think we could make.
The Local Government Commission will then consider the Council resolutions, public feedback and any objections and make a decision. Its decision may allow for exceptions from the rules.
This is called a representation review.
What we need to find out
Our focus at the moment is on our Long Term Plan but once these discussions are finished, we’ll turn our attention to the representation review and chat with you about any issues and options that may come up.
You know your communities best, so it’s important we work alongside you and find out what you want, before we make any recommendations to the Local Government Commission.
What we know already
We can see already that councillor numbers don’t quite stack up in the Waihi Ward, and that we’ve also got more councillors overall than most other councils in the country when you take into account our population.
One of the options the Local Government Commission will want us to look at in relation to this, is whether or not our communities are open to the possibility of changing ward boundaries.
We’ll talk to communities where this could be a consideration soon, before coming up with some options for the wider community to think about later this year.
The current ward system works well
“The current ward system has been very effective since amalgamation in 1989, and as Mayor I don’t see any appetite for changing this from any of our communities. I can also assure you the Council has no intention whatsoever of changing any wards. However, these are not decisions we can assume to make on your behalf. To comply with legislation and before we make any decisions on the representation of each ward, we need to satisfy the Local Government Commission that we’ve asked our communities if changing ward boundaries is a possible option.” - Mayor John Tregidga