Representing our community right
Preliminary consultation with the community to review the make up of our region’s wards and the number of councillors that represent them, was agreed to go ahead at the Future Tairawhiti meeting yesterday.
Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz explained that every 6 years the Local Government Commission requires a review of how the community is represented at the Council table.
The make up of wards and councillors is specifically based on the number of residents that are represented for every councillor.
“A variance of 10 percent in the number of people represented by a single councillor is taken into account,” she says
"It’s strictly mathematics, but geography and communities of interest are also considered in determining boundaries.”
In the last review in 2011, two rural wards were absorbed.
Six rural wards were merged into the current arrangement of 4 rural wards represented by 4 councillors.
But in the northern wards, there is now more than a 20% variance.
Councillor Bill Burdett says it's important to hear what our communities have to say on how they want to be represented and if representation is fair and effective.
Council have already agreed this year not to implement Maori wards.
Council staff will engage with the community and provide feedback to councillors before an initial proposal for any changes is developed.