Council representation - is there a better way?
Consultation on Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s initial representation proposal for the 2019 and 2022 local body elections is now open.
Council is asking the community is there a better way to be represented, with an initial proposal that would:
- move from the current five, elected community boards to three ward-based community committees where members are appointed, not elected
- make a minor adjustment to the boundary of the Katikati-Waihi Beach/Kaimai wards.
The proposed changes are intended to create a fairer and more effective way to represent our District’s communities of interest.
There will be nine community events across the District between 24 July and 24 August at which councillors and staff will be available to have conversations about the initial proposal. The dates for these events and the full Consultation Booklet are online at haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz/initialproposal
Following consultation, hearings will be held on 3 September. Council’s final proposal will be announced on 20 September.
A period from 2 October to 2 November is provided for appeals or objections to the final proposal. If any appeals or objections are received a final determination will be made by the Local Government Commission (which is independent of Council) by April next year.
Printed copies of the representation review initial proposal and submission forms are available at Council’s service centres (0800 926 732) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Help us make local democracy more effective
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)
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.
|23 February||Public notice of poll|
|From 27 April||Voting documents posted to electors|
|27 April to noon 19 May||Progressive roll security/special voting period/early processing|
|Noon 19 May||Poll day, voting closes|
|21 May||Official declaration of results|
|23 May||Public notice of results|
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.
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.
|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).
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.
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.