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Do you feel well represented on Council?

1 Dec 2017

Do you feel well represented on Council?

We’re taking a good look at whether we have the right number of councillors and we’re looking to you for feedback.

That all-important feedback will help with policy recommendations not just about the number of councillors, but also about our boundaries and number of wards.

Tairāwhiti currently has 5 wards represented by 13 councillors – 9 in the Gisborne ward and one for each of the 4 rural wards.

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says the review gives us the opportunity to identify which parts of our community are missing out on fair and effective representation.

The review happens every 6 years and assesses factors like population density, ward coverage and amount of wards.

“These factors tell us if ward boundaries need adjusting and whether communities feel they are fairly represented,” says Nedine.

Gisborne District Council’s last review in 2012 saw Matakaoa, Waiapu and Uawa merge to become 2 wards instead of 3.

“Population is the significant driver for most changes, but when you have geographically large areas like ours, with just one councillor, we have to figure out how best to serve everyone,” she says.

“Communities of interest are of particular importance during preliminary discussion, because they aren’t always easy to identify.”

In a recent representation review, Rotorua Lakes City Council, where all councillors represent the whole area (at large), it was identified there was a rural community of interest and subsequently formed a community board as a result.

Feedback from this round of community engagement will be used to inform a proposal for any changes to representation. The proposal will be reviewed by Council at its meeting in January.

“We encourage people to find out more and have your say by completing our online survey or talking to staff at events and hui being held over the next month.”

Here's more information and the link to the survey.

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