Council’s role includes acting as the voice of local people. That voice should represent all people who use and/or contribute to the facilities and services provided by Council. It must be able to represent and balance differing interests. And because Council’s democratic system is funded by rates, it’s important the community feels their interests are represented fairly and effectively.
In order to ensure councils continue to provide fair and effective representation for individuals and communities, they’re required by law (the Local Electoral Act 2001), to review their elected representation arrangements at least every six years.
Our last review was in 2018, so we’re checking in with our community again in 2021. Once final, the updated representation arrangements will stay in effect for six years (two election cycles) or until the next review.
What the review includes
We’ll be checking in with our community on the following topics:
- Identifying communities of interest.
- The total number of councillors there should be for the district.
- Deciding whether councillors are elected from wards or ‘at large’ across the whole district, or by a mix of both wards and ‘at large’.
- The boundaries of wards and constituencies, and their names.
- Whether there should be community boards in the district and, if so, the number of boards; their names and boundaries; the number of members for each board including any appointed members.
|Community informal consultation||April 12 - 30||A survey to gauge people's thoughts and feelings on the current representation across Kaipara.|
|Community Feedback presented to elected members||05 May||After analysing feedback and research, we will develop potential options for change (or no change) and then seek comment on the options|
|Council decision||25 August||Council determines its initial proposal for community consultation|
|Submission period||27 August - 27 September||Seeking community comment on initial proposal|
|Council decision||27 October||Following Council considering submissions, final representation proposal is adopted and opened for appeal|
|Appeal/objection period||29 October - 29 November||Preferred option is open for appeal or objection|
|Refer to LGC if needed||by 15 January 2022||Any appeals/objections received are forwarded to the Local Government Commission for consideration|
The current situation
For Kaipara’s existing structure, it is currently two councillors per ward. Two of those wards (Dargaville and Kaiwaka - Mangawhai) are now outside the variation allowed due to population growth.
The decision to add a Māori ward also means we need to reset how the wards are set up.
Communities of interest
The review includes identifying ‘Communities of interest’ for fair and effective representation. A community of interest is a group of people who have a common geographical, economic, social, historical or other bond.
Communities of interest can be identified as being where people feel they belong; where they live, work, shop, go to school and play.
Kaipara residents are very mobile and often move between communities while they ‘live, work and play’. Many people live in one community and commute to work or shop in another.
Comparison of similar sized councils
While it can be helpful to compare our council make-up to similar-sized councils, it’s useful to remember that each council’s arrangements are influenced by their own history, geography and politics.
No. of Wards
No. of councilors elected by ward
No. of councilors elected at large
Total no. of councilors
|Kaipara||25,200||4||8||-||8 (+Mayor elected at large)|
|Waitaki||23,500||4||10||-||10 (+Mayor elected at large)|
|Central Otago||23,900||4||11||-||11 (+Mayor elected at large)|
|Hauraki||21,400||3||9||-||9 (+Mayor elected at large)|
|South Waikato||25,400||3||10||-||10 (+Mayor elected at large)|
*The populations used are the estimated resident population as at 30 June 2020 provided by the Statistics NZ and use the 2018 census as their base.
Kaipara District currently has no Community Boards.
The role of Community Boards
A Community Board’s role is to represent the interests of their community to the Council. It get’s it’s powers through delegation from the Council. This could be decision making, administering grants or anything else as granted by Council.
A Community Board is about advocacy for a Community of interest. Their contribution helps ensure Council takes account of what each local community wants as they make decisions.
The Cost of representation
The pay for elected members is set by the Remuneration Authority. This is done via a single fund, then shared among the elected members. This is paid for out of the general rate.
If we were to create community boards, there are additional costs when you factor in, a new set of elected members (salaries) plus more meetings, staff to support and report to the board, travel, expenses etc.
Read about Representation Reviews via the Local Government Commission website
Read about what changes occurred in the 2018 Representation Review