Hauraki Council Representation Review Could Subtract Not Add
Hauraki District voters could have fewer representatives to vote for in the next Council election according to a Decision Report dated 17 April 2018 and published in a recent Hauraki District Council Agenda.
The Local Electoral Act 2001 requires Hauraki District Council to undertake a review of its representation arrangements in 2018 and the report included in the Council Agenda for its meeting held on Thursday, 26 April 2018 indicated that Waihi has grown enough to warrant another Waihi Ward representative on the council.
To even out the representation across the three district Wards it appears the idea of encouraging Waikino to agree to be included in the Paeroa Ward is being investigated.
A reduction in the number of councillors from the current 12 to 9 (3 for each Ward) is also being investigated and Council has said community boards are not to be established.
The Representation Review Decision Report notes that even if the three existing wards remain and the number of councillors reduces from 4 to 3 for each Ward, Waihi would still be entitled to an extra councillor (4) to comply with the +/- 10% rule required by the Local Electoral Act 2001.
Council has suggested there is leeway for allowing non-conformity of the fair representation under certain circumstances. This is where the option to consult with the Waikino community regarding a change for them, which would reduce Waihi’s population ratio enough to exclude an extra councillor for Waihi’s Ward, appears to comes in.
The Mayor, John Tregidga is the portfolio holder, which usually means he has the authority to make key decisions about subjects in the portfolio. His recommendation is that consultation with the Waikino community be undertaken via an online survey and community meeting. This is scheduled to occur from 1 to 22 May, with the outcome provided at the next Council workshop/meeting on 30 May.
Communication with the District should also occur to inform residents and ratepayers that Council is undertaking a representation review, the report says. (This has not occurred yet to our knowledge)
Note: It is unclear whether this means the rest of the district will have the opportunity for consultation or whether ‘communication with the District’ means they will be told the result.
If the number of Councillors reduces our understanding is the remuneration would be shared between the remaining Councillors.
The Minutes of the Council Meeting on 26 April 2018 that contained the Decision Report regarding the Representation Review have yet to be confirmed.
Te read the full report download the Council Agenda and head to pages 117 – 122.