Tō Reo - Mō ngā Kaikōwhiri a-Rohe
Your Voice – For Local Representation
We are reviewing how the South Taranaki District Council represents our communities by way of a Representation Review.
All councils are required to review their representation every 6 years.
In November 2020, Council decided to establish a Māori ward/s and that decision triggered the need to review our Council representation for the local body elections in 2022 and 2025.
What are we reviewing?
- How many councillors should represent the District? (South Taranaki can have between 5 and 29 councillors*)
- Are they're elected from wards or ‘at large’ across the whole region, or a mix of both?
- Should we retain our community boards?
- Should the Māori representatives be elected from one ward or two?
* The amount of money set aside to pay the Mayor, Councillors and Community Board members is determined by an independent body called the Remuneration Authority. It is based on the population of the District. This means whether you have 5 Councillors or 29 Councillors the pool of funding available stays the same.
Council must consider 3 key factors to ensure effective representation of our communities. This is required for both the Māori and General electoral populations:
- Communities of interest
- Effective representation of communities of interest
- Fair representation of electors
What's happened so far
During July 2021, we asked you to help us decide how many elected members we should have and what communities (wards) they represent by way of a survey.
Because there's so many different possibilities for our representation arrangements, as a starting point we put forward three possible options for our general wards and two options for our Māori ward/s
We received 62 submissions from the survey. Of those 11% supported option 1 for the general wards, 32% supported option 2 and 35% supported option 3. A further 40% supported option A for the Maori wards and 42% supported option B.
Based on this feedback the Council agreed on option 3 becoming the Initial Proposal for formal consultation.
Under the Initial Proposal the Council would be made up of 13 Councillors and a Mayor. The Councillors would consist of two Māori wards with one councillor elected from each ward and four general wards with two councillors elected from the Eltham-Kaponga ward; two from the Pātea ward; two from the Taranaki Coastal ward; and five councillors from Te Hāwera ward.
The ward boundaries shift slightly in the Initial Proposal.
The western boundary of Eltham-Kaponga Ward has moved west from Auroa Road to Ōeo Road.
Part of the southern boundary of Eltham-Kaponga Ward has moved south from Skeet Road to Tempsky, Ōmahuru and Austin Roads and Mangemange Stream.
Te Hāwera Ward western boundary has moved west to Inaha Road (and now includes Okaiawa)
Apart from the proposed boundary changes to the wards there are no changes to the Community Boards.
This review will determine how you and your community are represented at Council, so it’s important that we get your feedback.
Formal consultation on the Council’s Initial Proposal runs from 12 August until 23 September.
|4 August||Council – Adopt Initial proposal for formal consultation|
|12 August||Public Notice|
|12 August - 23 September||Formal consultation on an initial proposal (1 option only)|
|11 October||Council – considers all submissions and makes a final proposal|
|14 October||Public Notice on final proposal|
|14 October - 26 November||Objection period|
|6 December||Final proposal goes to Local Government Commission|
The people elected in your ward are your voice and advocate at the Council table.
This review looks at Council’s membership to ensure we're providing the right representation for our people and their communities.
Each elected member should represent a similar number of people. If Council decides to divide the district into wards, in legislation each ward councillor must represent the same number of people, plus or minus 10%.
In deciding effective representation, questions in relation to accessibility to elected members, size and configuration of an area also need to be considered, for example:
- Would the population have reasonable access to councillors and vice versa?
- Would councillors be able to effectively represent the views of their area?
- Would councillors be able to attend public meetings through their area and provide reasonable opportunities for the residents to have face-to-face meetings?
What does fair representation mean?
This determines where boundaries should be. It means that where there's wards members should be equally spread among the population:
- The ratio of population to member within one ward should not vary from the average ratio for the whole of Council by more than 10%. This is called the +/- 10% rule.
- It's possible for a council to not comply with this rule if complying would lead to a community of interest being split or distinct communities of interest joined. In this situation the Local Government Commission makes the final decision.
The Patea ward is currently over represented (by 9.6%) as determined by the Local Government Commission in 2019.
As part of the review, we must identify the district’s communities of interest. Local Government Commission guidelines recognise a community of interest according to 3 criteria:
- Perceptual: a sense of belonging to a place
- Functional: meet service requirements - like shops and amenities
- Political: the representation of community interests.
There can be physical or topographical features that define a community of interest, and similar communities can be grouped. These groupings can be by ethnicity or the activities that take place in a community that bring people together. Communities do change over time.
In November 2020, Council decided to establish a Māori ward/s for the next 2 local body elections (2022 and 2025), alongside General wards, under the Local Electoral Act.
What are Māori wards?
Māori wards are similar to general wards, however only those on the Māori electoral roll vote for Māori ward candidates. Māori wards are the local government equivalent of the Māori parliamentary electorates.
Who can stand for election in a Māori ward?
Anyone can stand for election in a Māori ward but they cannot stand for both general and Māori wards at the same time. Candidates in Māori wards do not have to be of Māori descent.
At election time, who can vote for Māori ward candidates?
Only electors on the Māori electoral roll can vote for candidates standing in their Māori ward. Electors on the Māori electoral roll cannot vote for candidates standing in the general wards.
Should I be on the Māori roll or the General roll?
If you are of Māori descent you can enrol in either the general or Māori electoral rolls.
Do Māori ward councillors only represent Māori?
No. All councillors, whether elected from general or Māori wards, represent the South Taranaki District.
How many Māori ward councillors would there be?
The number of councillors elected depends on a formula set by legislation (Schedule 1A of the Local Electoral Act 2001). Each councillor (for both Māori and general wards) should represent a similar number of people. As part of the representation review process, the number of councillors (in total) will be considered.
As part of the review, Council must consider whether community boards are necessary to provide effective representation for local communities within the district.
The role of a community board is to:
- Represent, and act as an advocate for, the interests of its community.
- Consider and report on all matters referred to it by the Council, or any matter of interest or concern to the community board.
- Maintain an overview of services provided by the Council within the community.
- Prepare an annual submission to the Council for expenditure within the community.
- Communicate with community organisations and special interest groups within the community.
- Undertake any other responsibilities that are delegated to it by the Council.
Community boards have their own status in legislation and are not a committee of Council. They're not local authorities and therefore cannot set rates, raise funds, enter into contracts, deal in property, pass bylaws or appoint staff.
Elections for community board members take place at the same time as the Council elections. A board must be between 4 - 12 members. It can include both elected and appointed members, but at least 4 members must be elected and the total number of appointed members must be less than half the total number of members.