Representation Review

Contents

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Updated: 9 April 2018

Help us make local democracy more effective

Council is required to review our representation arrangements every six years.

This is where we look at the current arrangements in place and whether it could be changed to better represent our communities.

We are currently underway with our 2017 review, which will apply to the next local government elections in 2019 and 2022.

There are three parts to this review

Part 1 - Electoral system
Council passed a resolution in August 2017 to remain with First Past the Post (FPP).

Part 2 - Māori representation
Council passed a resolution in November 2017 to establish Māori Wards. However, more than five percent of electors demanded a poll to decide the final outcome. More details are below. 

Part 3 - Representation arrangements
The community engagement phase on Western Bay's representation arrangements finished on Friday 6 April 2018. Council is considering all the feedback received and will be in touch later this year with the initial proposal. 

Part 1 - Electoral System (how we vote)

Earlier this year Councillors met to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two electoral systems available for use in a triennial election.

First Past the Post (FPP) elects candidates who get the most votes in an election or by-election, and has historically been used by Western Bay of Plenty District Council. It is the most popular system, with 70 out of 78 councils adopting this system for the 2016 elections.​

Single Transferable Vote (STV) was the other option considered.

Council passed a resolution at the Council meeting on 10 August 2017 to remain with FPP.​

Part 2 - Māori Representation

Council is holding a binding poll to see whether Māori wards should be introduced for the next two triennial elections in 2019 and in 2022.

In November 2017, Councillors voted to establish one or more Māori wards. Consequently, a valid independent petition from over five percent of Western Bay District electors against the move was handed to Council, requiring a poll.

The poll will be open from Friday 27 April to midday on Saturday 19 May 2018, and will be conducted by Council's electoral officer.

Poll timetable:

23 FebruaryPublic notice of poll
From 27 AprilVoting documents posted to electors
27 April to noon 19 MayProgressive roll security/special voting period/early processing
Noon 19 MayPoll day, voting closes
21 MayOfficial declaration of results
23 MayPublic notice of results​

​​​​The Public Notice of the Poll is available here.​

Part 3 - ​Representation Arrangements​

Following on from consideration of the electoral system and whether Māori wards should be established, Council is looking at whether the current representation arrangements (Mayor, 11 Councillors, three wards,​​ five community boards and 20 community board members), provides for fair and effective representation, or if changes can be made to improve the District’s representation. 

​Changes could affect:

  • ​the total number of elected members

  • whether they come from wards, are voted in ‘at large’ across the wider District, or are a mix of both

  • the numbers and names of wards and community boards.​

The community engagement phase on Western Bay’s representation arrangements finished on Friday 6 April 2018. Council is considering all the feedback received and will be in touch later this year with the initial proposal. 

Any changes made through this process will apply to the next local government elections in 2019 and 2022.

Council will publicly notify the initial proposal for future representation arrangements in the second half of 2018.

Information sessions​

​Where​Date​Time
​Waihi Beach – Community Centre, 106 Beach Rd​Monday 12 March ​4.30pm to 6.30pm
​Omokoroa – Community Church, 139 Hamurana Rd​Tuesday 13 March ​5pm to 7pm
​Katikati – Library/Service Centre, 36 Main Rd​Wednesday 14 March ​5pm to 7pm​
​Maketu – Community Centre, Wilson Rd​Tuesday 20 March ​5pm to 7pm
​Te Puke – Library/Service Centre, 130 Jellicoe St​​Thursday 22 March ​5pm to 7pm

If you belong to a community group and would like more information or to meet with Council staff, call us on 0800 926 732 (freephone) to request a meeting during the engagement period (Thursday, 8 March to Friday, 6 April 2018).​

Background

​Important links

Media Release - Council votes for Māori​ voice at table - Thursday 23 November 2017​

Partnership Forum Presentation to Council - Tuesday 21 November 2017​ 

Notice of Decision to Establish Māori​ wards and the right to demand a poll

Electors of Western Bay of Plenty District Council have the right to demand a poll if over five percent of electors sign a petition against the move (see above media release). A poll will then be required on the question of whether Council should be divided into one or more Māori wards.

Advice to any group that may be embarking on a petition - key statutory provisions for establishing Māori wards​ - polls
  • ​5% of electors may demand a poll at any time on whether a district/region needs to be divided into one or more Māori wards/constituencies (19ZB).  
  • For Western Bay of Plenty District Council the minimum number of electors is 1,708.  It is advisable that more signatures than the minimum are obtained as many people are not eligible i.e. live outside the area, are not on the electoral roll within the district, or are under 18 years of age.
  • A local authority may resolve at any time to conduct a poll on whether the district/region needs to be divided into Māori wards/constituencies (19ZD).
  • If, before 21 February in the year before election year, (2018) either a valid demand for a poll is received (s19ZB) or the local authority resolves to hold a poll (s19ZD).  This is notified to the electoral officer and the poll must be held not later than 89 days after the notification, that is, not later than 21 May in that year (2018), and the result of the poll takes effect for the next two elections (s19ZF) – 2019 and 2022.
  • If a valid demand for a poll is received after 21 February in the year before the next election (2018), the poll must be held after 21 May in that year and takes effect for the next but one election and the subsequent election (s19ZC).
  • In practice, once a demand for a poll is received, we (our electoral officer), obtains a fresh listing of electors from the Electoral Commission to check that the electors are eligible.  If the minimum number is not submitted, the demand is invalid.  It is important that any demand be readable i.e. we need to read names and addresses.
  • If a valid demand is received (i.e. the demand meets the minimum 1,708 electors) then a poll is required, and Council will need to allocate the cost of a poll (as unbudgeted expense).
  • The Representation Review will continue (as per legal requirements) to meet the deadline of no later than 31 August 2018 for council to resolve an initial proposal.

Representation Arrangements

Council will notify the public of the initial proposal for future representation arrangements in the second half of 2018.

All variables must be considered – communities of interest (what is a community, where is my community), the number and names of wards, the number of Councillors and whether or not to have community boards. Council must also consider any decision made regarding the establishment of Māori wards and the impact on ward boundaries.

Page reviewed: 12 Apr 2018 11:32am