Final Proposal for Representation Arrangements for the 2019 Local Government Elections

Final Proposal for Representation Arrangements for the 2019 Local Government Elections

Thursday, August 09, 2018

On 30 July 2018 the South Taranaki District Council considered the submissions received on its initial proposal regarding the representation arrangements for the Council and its constituent community boards to apply for the local elections to be held on 12 October 2019:

The Council received 21 submissions on its proposal. Fourteen submissions were in favour of the Council’s proposal. One submission was neutral and six submissions contained objections to various elements of the proposal as follows:

1. Eight submitters requested changes to the names of the wards and community boards as set out in the table below:

Initial Proposed Ward/Community Board NameRecommended name change by submitter for wardsRecommended name change by submitter for community boardsName of Submitter
Ōpūnake-Manaia Ward and Community BoardEgmont Plains Ward or

Te Hauāuru/ Western Ward

Egmont Plains Community Board or

Te Hauāuru Community Board/Western Community Board

Egmont Plains Community Board
Te Tai Hauāuru/

Western Ward

Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust
Taranaki Coastal WardTe Kāhui o Taranaki Trust
Ngāruahine-Taranaki WardTe Kupenga o Kanihi (me ētahi atu) Hapū
Egmont Plains Community BoardBrian Vincent
Eltham-Kaponga Ward and Community BoardTai Uru-mā-raki/ North West Ward or Te Tai Waenganui Pū/Central WardTe Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust
Kaponga-Eltham Community BoardJill Webley
Te Tuaraki/Northern WardTe Tuaraki Community Board/Northern Community BoardEgmont Plains Community Board
Hāwera-Tangahoe Ward and Community BoardTe Hāwera Ward Te Hāwera Community BoardHāwera-Tangahoe Community Board
Te Waengapu Ward/Central WardTe Waengapu Community Board/Central Community Board.Egmont Plains Community Board
Pātea Community BoardTe Rawhiti Ward/Eastern WardTe Rawhiti Community Board/Eastern Community BoardEgmont Plains Community Board

2. One submitter considered that the moving of the ward boundary impacted on their hapū.The Hapū also requested that the Council take into account hapū takiwā (areas) rather than iwi rohe when considering electoral boundaries.

3. One submitter objected to the disestablishment of the Tangahoe Ward.

4. Two submitters expressed their disappointment with the Council decision not to pursue Māori Wards at this time, while at the same time recognising the reasons behind the decision.

5. One submitter asked the Council to make Māori wards mandatory.

6. One submitter asked the Council to lobby for legislative change to enable the establishment of Māori Wards in way that is equitable for Māori.

7. One submitter requested that the Council consider a mixed system where some members are elected from the district as a whole and some from each ward, or to consider no wards at all.

8. One submitter requested to be engaged prior to the Council making a decision about FPP or STV electoral systems next time this is up for review.

9. One submitter requested that the Council revert back to the previous boundaries.

10. One submitter requested separate representation for Kaponga.

Final Proposal

Having considered all of the objections, the Council resolved to adopt its initial proposal as the Council’s final proposal, subject to the following amendments:

- The proposed “Ōpūnake-Manaia” Ward and Community Board be renamed as the “Taranaki Coastal” Ward and Community Board

- The proposed “Hāwera-Tangahoe” Ward and Community Board be renamed as the “Te Hāwera” Ward and Community Board

The Council consider that the name changes are appropriate for the following reasons:

- “Taranaki Coastal” was chosen over the proposed “Ōpūnake-Manaia” name for the ward and community board. The name better represented the northern part of the ward and the coastal surf highway environment that this part of Taranaki is known for. The name Ōpūnake-Manaia was opposed by the Egmont Plains Community Board as it was not seen as representative of the entire ward area.

- “Te Hāwera” was chosen over the proposed “Hāwera-Tangahoe” name for the ward and community board. This name was suggested by the Hāwera-Tangahoe Community Board as it acknowledges the full Māori place name for this part of the District, as Hāwera is an abridged version.

The Council rejected the other matters raised in objections for the following reasons:

1. The Council, after considering all the names proposed by submitters for wards and community boards, made a decision (see above for the reasons for the name changes) and rejected the other names put forward.

2. The Council is legally required to use meshblock boundaries but these do not align with the hapū takiwā (areas). The Council’s electoral boundaries do not currently take into account hapū interests and one hapū’s interests may be recognised at the expense of another’s. Aligning ward boundaries along hapū takiwā would require a substantial amount of consultation and negotiation with hapū.

3. The Council rejected the proposal to create a separate Tangahoe Ward. The Council proposal deliberately creates more than one ward councillor within each ward in order to provide opportunities for people to stand for office. The Council believes this also increases the ability of all persons, including Māori, to be represented by more than one person per ward. This proposal recognises that the residents of the current Tangahoe Ward have a functional community of interest with Hāwera. The Council believes that the proposal will enable all residents to be represented effectively. Councillors, once elected, represent all people of the District. Board members, once elected, represent the entire Board area.

4. In terms of Māori wards, the Council and the Iwi Liaison Committee formed a Joint Working Party to consider ways of enhancing Māori engagement with the Council approximately two years ago and this included consideration of setting up Māori wards. The Joint Working Party decided (at this point in time) the preferred approach was to appoint Iwi representatives to Council Committees instead of pursuing Māori Wards. Given this recommendation the Council decided not to proceed with Māori wards at this point, however this does not preclude the Council and Iwi considering Māori wards in the future.

5. The Council does not have the ability to make Māori wards mandatory, this is a central government power. There is no process for the Council to support or decline to support the current Local Electoral (Equitable Process for Establishing Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill as there has been no further progress with this Bill.

6. The Council has not considered the matter of lobbying for legislative change for the establishment of Māori Wards and would need to do this in another forum, outside of the representation review process.

7. A mixed representational system as proposed by the submitter (4 members to be elected from four wards and 8 members from across the District) would be better suited to a Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system and the Council had already chosen the First Past the Post (FPP) system, which it was required to do, before considering representation options. The Council considered that the public has not had an opportunity to make submissions, and the Council has not had an opportunity to hear from the public, on a mixed representation system

8. The request to revert to the current boundaries was rejected as this would result in non-compliance with three of the five wards in terms of the population requirement and the majority of submitters were in favour of the new boundaries.

9. There are insufficient people in Kaponga to rationalise separate representation, even as a subdivision of a community board, as it does not meet the +/- 10% population requirement.

Therefore the final proposal is as follows:

Council Representation

It is proposed that the Council comprise the Mayor and 12 members elected from four wards. The four wards reflect the following identified communities of interest:

Ward NameCommunities of Interest
Taranaki CoastalIncreases the current Egmont Plains Ward boundary to include Okaiawa and the western area of the current Tangahoe Ward, with the boundary being moved to the Waingongoro River. Includes Te Ngutu o Te Manu, which is a significant site for Te Korowai o Ngāruahine. This ward encompasses all of the marae for Te Korowai o Ngāruahine.
Eltham-KapongaIncreases the current Eltham Ward slightly, with Kapuni and surrounding area moved from the current Egmont Plains Ward into this ward.
Te Hāwera This ward is an amalgamation of the Hāwera-Normanby and Tangahoe Wards represented by five councillors. It includes the current Hāwera-Normanby Ward urban area and also takes account of a significant change in the growth of urban development on the outskirts of Hāwera since the last representation review. It also provides for future residential growth likely to occur within the boundaries of this ward.Includes the settlements of Te Roti, Ohawe, Ohangai, Meremere, Ararata, Mokoia and Whakamara. The current Tangahoe Ward boundaries change substantially in this proposal. The western part of the ward would be included in proposed Taranaki Coastal Ward and the rest is joined to the current Hāwera-Normanby Ward to create a new ward. This ward recognises that the residents of the current Tangahoe Ward have a functional community of interest with Hāwera, i.e. the majority of people from this ward currently look towards Hāwera for many of their needs such as schooling, shopping, medical practice, sports etc.
PāteaThis ward boundary stays the same as the current Pātea Ward boundary. Although it does not comply with the +/- 10% population requirement, i.e. it has less people per Councillor than other wards, the Council believes that the ward should remain the same because of geographical and historical factors.

The population that each member will represent is as follows:

WardPopulation

(population estimate as at

1 July 2017)

Number

of Members

Population per

member

Taranaki Coastal6,94032,313
Eltham-Kaponga4,57022,285
Te Hāwera12,58052,516
Pātea3,93021,965
Total28,000122,333

In accordance with section 19V(2) of the Local Electoral Act 2001the population that each member represents must be within the range of2,333 +/- 10% (2,100 to 2,566), unless particular community of interest considerations justify otherwise. Only the representation of the Pātea Ward falls outside the stipulated range. Although this ward does not comply with the +/- 10% requirement i.e. it has less people per Councillor than other wards,the Council considers that the Pātea Ward warrants representation by two members and that the boundaries should remain unchanged. This is based on the following considerations set out in section 19V(3) of the Local Electoral Act 2001:

1. The weighting of representation solely on population would take insufficient consideration of the communities of interest of the residents of the current Pātea Ward and would limit effective representation of communities of interest by uniting two communities with few commonalities of interest.

2. The current Pātea Ward is geographically isolated from the other wards, with transport connections relying on the State Highway.

3. The current Pātea Ward consists of a large coastal area and three main valley systems – the Pātea, Whenuakura and Waitotara Valleys – and the smaller Ngutuwera-Mangawhio area that all feed to State Highway 3 and the towns of Pātea and Waverley. In order to achieve compliance with the +/- 10% requirement, the boundary of the Pātea Ward would need to move to include 280 additional people who live in the current Tangahoe Ward (proposed Te Hāwera Ward)

4. The residents of the affected meshblocks have no shared communities of interest with the residents of the Pātea Ward. The Manawapou River creates a natural physical geographical boundary. Access to the Pātea Ward is only available along State Highway 3. While the eastern parts of the current Eltham and Tangahoe Wards have similar landforms (valleys), there are no functional links between the three areas i.e. there are no local roads connecting the wards. The residents in the affected meshblocks look toward Hāwera for their functional communities of interest, and have a perceived community of interest towards the north rather than the south of the District. The extent of the boundary change to achieve compliance fails to meet the requirement of communities of interest, as it would merge different communities that have little in common.

5. People in the current Pātea Ward have a strong historical association with the current Pātea Ward boundary as this was the previous Pātea District Council boundary and prior to that the Pātea County Council boundary.

Community Board Representation

It is proposed that the following four community boards be elected:

Community Board Area of Community Board
Taranaki Coastal Community BoardSame as the Taranaki Coastal Ward boundary
Eltham-Kaponga Community BoardSame as the Eltham-Kaponga Ward boundary
Te Hāwera Community BoardSame as Te Hāwera Ward boundary
Pātea Community BoardSame as the Pātea Ward boundary

It is proposed that there will be four members elected to each Community Board. They will not be subdivided for electoral purposes. They will each have one appointed member as follows:

Community Board Number of members from which ward
Taranaki Coastal Community Board1 member appointed from Taranaki Coastal Ward
Eltham-Kaponga Community Board1 member appointed from Eltham-Kaponga Ward
Te Hāwera Community Board1 member appointed from Te Hāwera Ward
Pātea Community Board1 member appointed from Pātea Ward

Appeals and objections

Any person who made a submission on the Council’s initial proposal may lodge an appeal against the Council’s decision.An appeal must relate to the matters raised in that person’s submission.

Any person who objects to the final proposal may lodge an objection to the Council’s final proposal.Any objection must identify the matters to which the objection relates.

Appeals and objections must be made in writing and must be received by the Council no later than 5 pm on Monday, 10 September 2018.

Appeal/objection forms are available from the Hāwera Administration office or any LibraryPlus and from the Council’s website www.southtaranaki.com and should state your name, address, telephone number and email address. Appeals and objections are to be addressed to:

Coral Hair, Policy and Governance Manager, repreview@stdc.govt.nz

- Send an email to repreview@stdc.govt.nz

- Post it to us at Private Bag 902, Hāwera, 4640

- Fax us on (06) 2788757

Further information

Please direct any queries regarding the Council’s decision to Coral Hair phone 0800111323 or 06-2780555.

Waid Crockett

Chief Executive

South Taranaki District Council

9 August 2018

Click here to view the Wards Representation Review Final Proposal 2018 Map

Click here to view the Community Boards Representation Review Final Proposal 2018 Map

Click here to for the Appeals and Objections Form