Council representation – is there a better way

20/07/2018 4:00 p.m.

​​Tuesday 24 July 2018

Consultation on Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s initial representation proposal for the 2019 and 2022 local body elections is now open.​

Visit haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz/initialproposal​ to read the full consultation booklet and give your feedback.

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. 

Council is required to review its representation arrangements every six years, including the shape of the District’s voting wards, the number of elected councillors and to ensure that individuals and communities are democratically represented.

During the previous review, Council signalled its intention to reassess its community boards given the reduction in the number of wards from five to three at that time.

As part of the current review process, Council engaged with our communities in March-April 2018. This provided nearly one thousand pieces of feedback that helped clarify which communities people relate to and how well they feel represented. 

The proposal to move to community committees is intended to create a new structure that would:

  • ​​involve all councillors (not all are currently on boards)
  • ​​represent the entire District (not all communities have a community board)
  • be more flexible in terms of membership, meeting rules, roles and responsibilities
  • be more responsive and timely in decision making (less formal structure requirements)
  • be less expensive (no need for elections, by-elections etc)
  • be less difficult to fill positions (fewer people are standing for community boards), and
  • allow for targeted recruitment of people with appropriate skill sets.
It’s important to note that this is an initial proposal only at this stage and Council is seeking people’s feedback from 24 July until 5pm Friday 24 August.

Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber urges people to carefully consider the initial proposal and share their views online and at roadshows throughout the District during July and August. 

“This review is guided by three key considerations – defining our communities, determining how we can effectively represent different communities and ensuring we have fair representation,’’ says Garry.

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 haveyoursay@westernbay.govt.nz​

For those wishing to make an oral submission as part of the hearings process please ensure this is indicated on your submission form. 

If you belong to a community group and would like more information, call us on 0800 926 732 to request a meeting before the consultation period ends.

Page reviewed: 26 Jul 2018 9:38am