The Local Government Commission will conduct a hearing on 20 February on the Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s representation arrangements for the 2019 triennial election.
The hearing will complete engagement on the third phase of Council’s representation review process. It will take place from 9am in Council Chambers at Barkes Corner.
Following the hearing, the Commission will make a determination by 10 April.
All councils have to review their representation arrangements at least once every six years.
The review requires Councils to look at their current representation arrangements and determine whether they could be changed to better represent their communities.
Phase one of the review saw Council pass a resolution to retain the First Past the Post electoral system.
Phase two resulted in a decision by Council to establish Māori wards, which was subsequently challenged and defeated in a public poll.
Phase three is a review of Council’s current representation arrangements (wards, community boards etc). The final proposal for representation is for:
• the number of councillors elected from the existing three wards remain unchanged at 11, with the Mayor elected on a district-wide basis
• a minor boundary adjustment between the Katikati/Waihi Beach and Kaimai Wards
• the Waihi Beach, Maketu and Te Puke Community Boards are retained with their current boundaries
• the Katikati Community Board is retained with an adjusted boundary
• the Omokoroa Community Board is disestablished
• the establishment of ward councillor committees for the following areas:
- Kaimai Ward (including Omokoroa)
- the eastern end of the Maketu-Te Puke Ward (all areas not covered by the Maketu and Te Puke Community Boards – ie Paengaroa, Pongakawa, Pukehina and Otamarakau)
- the Matakana Island and Rangiwaea Island parts of the existing Katikati/Waihi Beach Ward (all areas not covered by the Katikati and Waihi Beach Community Boards)
The final proposal means that for the 2019 elections, Council would have four community boards - Waihi Beach; Katikati; Maketu and Te Puke: and three ward councillor committees - Kaimai; Eastern; and Matakana/Rangiwaea Islands.
Council publicly notified its final proposal on 2 October 2018, this was followed by a one-month appeal/objection period through to 2 November 2018. During this process a number of appeals and objections were received.
The hearing is to enable people who appealed or objected to the final proposal have their say before the Local Government Commission.