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Week 1 begins Monday 16 July 2018

One, three, four, two…how many Councillors should represent you?

Every six years we have to look at the number of Councillors and wards we have in our district. This is to make sure we have the right amount of people around the council table to fairly and effectively represent the number of people that live in each of our communities. We also have to decide whether we should have community boards.

How are we looking right now?
What we know already
What we’ve done about it so far
What we’re proposing
Why we prefer this option
Tell us what you think

How are we looking right now?

At the moment we have one mayor (who is elected by the whole district) and 12 councillors - four representing the Waihi Ward, four representing the Paeroa Ward and four representing the Plains Ward. We do not have any community boards.

What we know already

As things stand, councillor numbers don’t quite stack up in the Waihi Ward. We also have more councillors overall than most other councils in the country when our population is taken into account.

Legislation says the population of each ward, divided by the number of councillors in that ward, should fall within plus or minus 10 percent of the total population of the district divided by the total number of councillors in the district. This is called the +/- 10% rule.

When we crunch the numbers, the Waihi Ward falls ever so slightly outside of this rule (by about 69 people!).

What we’ve done about it so far

One of the options we looked at to comply with this rule was the possibility of changing ward boundaries. For example, shifting the Paeroa Ward boundary to include some, or all, of the Waikino community.

We held a meeting in the Victoria Hall, Waikino, on Monday 18 June to see what our communities thought of this option, and heard very strongly that you were completely opposed to this idea. So this option has now been ruled out.

What we’re proposing

We’re proposing to have one mayor (who is elected by the whole district) and nine councillors - three representing the Waihi Ward, three representing the Paeroa Ward and three representing the Plains Ward – and to continue with no community boards, for the next two Council elections.

Despite being slightly outside the required range, we believe that this Council structure effectively represents our community. Councils can choose not to comply with the +/- 10% rule if they believe it would divide a community of interest or unite communities of interest with few commonalities.

Representation

Read the Council’s official initial proposal on its representation arrangement


Why we prefer this option

We think a reduction in councillor numbers could result in greater diversity around the Council table and a more efficient council overall.

Councillor’s salaries are to be paid as a percentage of a fixed overall pool, so reducing numbers would mean the remaining individual councillors would earn a little bit more, which we hope might make it affordable for more people to consider standing.

As it stands, Hauraki District councillors earn around $20,000 per year. This means most are forced to juggle other roles to make ends meet, or be semi-retired. As well as attracting more diversity, having less councillors who are paid more might allow some to consider it as a full time occupation.

With 12 councillors to represent an estimated population of around 20,000 in 2018, Hauraki District currently has more councillors per head of its population than most other districts in the country. As a comparison Hamilton City has 12 councillors to represent around 160,000 people.

The proposal to continue with an even number of councillors across all wards also reflects the current council's view of Hauraki as `one district’. While invested in representing the people in their own wards, our councillors are also interested in the bigger picture - what’s best for the entire district as a whole.

However, this is just an initial proposal and before it goes any further, we want to know what you think.

Tell us what you think

We’re inviting written submissions from any interested person or organisation from 4 July to 3 August 2018

Submissions should state your name, address, telephone number and email address (if you have one) and should reach the Council no later than 4.00pm on Friday 3 August 2018.

Submission forms are also available from our Council offices in Ngatea, Paeroa and Waihi.

Submissions should be addressed to: Steve Fabish, Group Manager – Community Services & Development, Hauraki District Council, 1 William Street, Paeroa, or PO Box 17, Paeroa 3640.

Online submissions

If you wish to make a submission online please use the following form:

Online submission form for the 2018 Representation Arrangement Review 

Council will read and consider all submissions. Please clearly state if you wish to speak in support of your submission and note that any submission made will be available to the public. Hearings and meetings on the review will be open to the public.

Following the one-month submission period and after looking at all the feedback, the Council will make a final decision on how it thinks councillor numbers and wards should look for the next two elections. There will then be a one-month appeal/objection period inviting further feedback from the community. However, the final decision is likely to rest with the Local Government Commission.

Written Submissions

Submissions should reach the Council no later than 4.00pm on Friday 3 August 2018.

Submission forms are also available from our Council offices in Ngatea, Paeroa and Waihi.

More about written submissions 

Online submissions

If you wish to make a submission online please use the following form:

Online submission form for the 2018 Representation Arrangement Review 

 Submissions close 4.00pm on Friday 3 August 2018.

 

Hauraki District wards map