South Taranaki Reviews Electoral Arrangements
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Council wants to know what you think about its electoral and representation arrangements for the upcoming 2019 local government elections.
Public consultation on the South Taranaki District Council’s (STDC) Representation Review Proposal starts on Thursday 14 June.
STDC Corporate Services group manager Phillippa Wilson says the Council has to review it’s representation every 6 years to consider things like the number of elected members and wards we have, where the boundaries lie and what the names of the wards and community boards should be.
“When reviewing the District’s representation, the Council has a number of rules which it must be guided by. For example, the Council has to consider how to best represent the ‘communities of interest’ in the District and the number of councillors per ward must represent approximately the same number of people,” says Mrs Wilson.
“We have already been out to the community and asked for early feedback and now we are starting the formal consultation phase which starts on 14 June and runs until 16 July,” she says.
In the proposal, the boundaries of three South Taranaki wards have been redrawn (except for the current Patea Ward). The main change is the amalgamation of the Hawera-Normanby and Tangahoe Wards. The western part of the Tangahoe Ward is included in the proposed Opunake-Manaia Ward and the rest is joined to the current Hāwera-Normanby Ward creating a new Hawera-Tangahoe Ward.
The proposal also sees that the District’s 12 Councillors and four Community Boards (each with four members) are kept and the Mayor will continue to be elected across the whole District.
The Council is also considering the names of its four wards, which in the proposal are; Opunake-Manaia (currently Egmont Plains), Eltham-Kaponga (currently Eltham), Hawera-Tangahoe (currently Hawera-Normanby and Tangahoe Wards) and Patea (the same).
Mrs Wilson says the advantage of the proposal is that it is familiar, it keeps the same number of councillors and community board members as now and there’s little change for most people.
“The Council sees this as a ‘best fit’ for meeting effective representation of communities of interest of the District while also recognising the needs of geographically distinct communities,” says Mrs Wilson. “It also means three wards would comply with the guidelines with the Pātea Ward being the only one which wouldn’t fit the population plus/minus 10% requirement,” she says.