Your Choice - 2022 Representation Review

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'Your Choice - 2022 Representation Review' decision

Council to seek legislative change to enable preferred representation model to be adopted

As part of the Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review, Rotorua Lakes Council will be seeking legislative change to enable a preferred representation model to be adopted at the earliest possible time.

Council’s preferred model for best representing the needs of Rotorua in accordance with the principles of the Local Government Act and the Treaty of Waitangi, is not permitted under current legislation.

Therefore, at the full Council meeting on Friday 19 November, elected members voted in favour of instructing

'Your Choice - 2022 Representation Review' decision

Council to seek legislative change to enable preferred representation model to be adopted

As part of the Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review, Rotorua Lakes Council will be seeking legislative change to enable a preferred representation model to be adopted at the earliest possible time.

Council’s preferred model for best representing the needs of Rotorua in accordance with the principles of the Local Government Act and the Treaty of Waitangi, is not permitted under current legislation.

Therefore, at the full Council meeting on Friday 19 November, elected members voted in favour of instructing the Chief Executive to pursue the necessary statutory reforms, or other means, by which the preferred model can be adopted by Council at the earliest possible time, including if possible, prior to the 2022 local election.

The preferred model Council is seeking to adopt is as follows:

  • 1 Mayor elected at large
  • 1 Māori Ward with 3 seats
  • 1 General Ward with 3 seats
  • 4 “At large” seats
  • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
  • A Rural Community Board

This model is deemed to best represent the needs of the Rotorua community and addresses a number of the key themes that emerged throughout consultation (achieving equality/parity, recognising the Treaty of Waitangi and Rotorua Township (Fenton) Agreement, co-governance, and equal suffrage).

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says legislative change to enable a model that better represents the needs of Rotorua will be sought as quickly as possible.

“It is disappointing that current legislation has meant we were unable to adopt our preferred representation model. However we have adopted an interim model, that regardless of electorate roll, gives everyone the same number of votes.

“We will now pursue legislative change to get a local bill in place so we can adopt a model that really better represents what the community needs, and what they have told us they want.

“The electoral system in Rotorua should honour the Fenton Agreement and it should meet the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

“There has been tension and hurt during this process. Our Te Arawa partnership board has struggled to get to this point, but ultimately we want the same outcome, and we want to support them to achieve more than one seat within the Māori Ward.

“We’ve ended up with an unusual model, struggling with a formula we’re required to use but doesn’t really fit what Rotorua needs today.

“A local bill through parliament will be our best option to get the preferred model and we’ll be looking to act on this as quickly as possible.”

Council was advised by the Local Government Commission that the preferred model wouldn’t be permitted under the Local Electoral Act (LEA). It is considered unlawful because it does not follow the formula for allocating seats to each ward as set out in Schedule 1A of the LEA. (For an explanation of the formula see section 5.2.2, page 16 of the full report that went to the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee this week).

Council will now seek to enable the preferred model to be adopted via other means, potentially by way of a Local Bill.

During the meeting, a new motion was put forward by Cr Yates and received support from the majority of Councillors. In addition to seeking legislative change, the Council also agreed to:

  • Confirm its commitment and ongoing support for Māori wards as made by Council on 21 May 2021
  • Affirm that voters on the Māori electoral roll should not be permanently locked into a minority and should have equal opportunity as those on the general roll to vote for a Council they consider will best represent their interests (voter parity)
  • Affirm the electoral system for Rotorua should honour the Rotorua Township Agreement (1880) and meet the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Council was bound by legislative constraints to adopt a representation model on Friday 19 November 2021. So while acknowledging that the ideal representation model is the one outlined above, to meet the requirements of the Local Electoral Act, in a split vote decision, Council has adopted the following interim representation model:

  • 1 Mayor elected at large
  • 1 Māori Ward with 1 seat
  • 1 General Ward with 1 seat
  • 8 “At large” seats
  • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
  • A Rural Community Board

It was noted that this interim model falls short of Council’s preferred model, however preserves the principles of voter parity, a key theme emerging through consultation, and is legally compliant with the formula set out in the LEA.

While this model achieves parity between the Māori Ward and the General Ward, it reduces the number of available seats in the wards to 1 each, and increases the ‘at large’ seats to 8. This is the only formulation that can achieve parity between the wards in a manner which is legally compliant.

Voting

The detailed motion the Committee has voted in favour of is as follows:

The following motion was put forward:

Moved: Cr Yates
Seconded: Cr Raukawa-Tait

The Chair ruled that each item be voted on separately.

That Council;

1. Confirm its commitment and ongoing support for a Māori ward as made by Council on 21 May 2021.

Moved: Cr Yates
Seconded: Cr Raukawa-Tait

CARRIED

2. Affirm that voters on the Māori electoral roll should not be permanently locked into a minority and should have equal opportunity as those on the general roll to vote for a Council they consider will best represent their interests (voter parity)

Moved: Cr Yates
Seconded: Cr Raukawa-Tait

CARRIED

3. Affirm the electoral system for Rotorua should honour the Rotorua Township Agreement (1880) and meet the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Moved: Cr Yates
Seconded: Cr Raukawa-Tait

CARRIED

4. a. Agree that the ideal representational model for Rotorua would comprise;

  • 1 Mayor elected at large
  • 1 Māori ward with 3 seats (Te Ipu Wai Taketake ward)
  • 1 General ward with 3 seats (Te Ipu Wai Auraki ward)
  • 4 “At large” seats
  • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
  • A Rural Community Board

b. Note that the preferred model (see 4a above) is not currently enabled under the current Local Electoral Act, Council instructs the Chief Executive to pursue the necessary statutory reforms, or other means, by which the preferred model can be adopted by Council at the earliest possible time, including if possible, prior to the 2022 election.

Moved: Cr Yates
Seconded: Cr Raukawa-Tait

CARRIED

5. a. Notwithstanding 4 above, for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the Local Electoral Act agree an interim representation model comprising;

  • 1 Mayor elected at large
  • 1 Māori ward with 1 seat (Te Ipu Wai Taketake ward)
  • 1 General ward with 1 seat (Te Ipu Wai Auraki ward)
  • 8 “At large” seats
  • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
  • A Rural Community Board

b. Note that the interim model (see 5a above) falls short of Council’s preferred model however preserves the principles of voter parity (see 2 above)

Division noted:

For: Mayor Chadwick, Cr Maxwell, Cr Donaldson, Cr Yates, Cr Raukawa-Tait, Cr Wang

Against: Cr Macpherson, Cr Bentley, Cr Tapsell, Cr Kumar, Cr Kai Fong

Moved: Cr Yates
Seconded: Cr Raukawa-Tait

CARRIED


Next steps – Objections/appeals

An objection or appeal may be lodged by any person or organisation if the Council’s final decision on representation arrangements differs from its initial proposal. Any objection must identify the matters to which the objection relates.

Objections and appeals will be forwarded to the Local Government Commission (LGC).

If objections or appeals are made, the LGC will make a final determination on Rotorua Lakes Council’s representation arrangements in April 2022.

Objections must be made in writing and must be received by council no later than 20 December 2021.

A description of the Objections and Appeals process can be found HERE.

An Objections/Appeals hard copy form can be found HERE.

To complete the online Objections/Appeals form, please select HERE.
Objections can be sent to:

  • Rotorua Lakes Council, Attention – Rick Dunn
  • Post – Rotorua Lakes Council, Civic Centre, 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua 3010
  • Email – submission@rotorualc.nz
  • Hand deliver – Rotorua Lakes Council, Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre, 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua

The Council meeting was livestreamed and you can view a full recording of the meeting at THIS LINK on Council’s YouTube channel.
You can view the meeting HERE.

Links to other related documents:
Report to Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee on 16 November 2021
Presentation to Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee on 16 November 2021
Attachment 1 - Report to SPF 26 August 21- Adopt initial proposal.pdf
Your Choice - 2022 Representation Review - Initial Proposal.pdf

  • Committee recommends Council pursue legislative change to enable a preferred representation model to be adopted

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    16 November 2021

    Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee recommends Council pursue legislative change to enable a preferred representation model to be adopted

    Rotorua Lakes Council’s Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee has today voted in favour of recommending that Council pursue legislative change to enable a preferred representation model to be adopted prior to the 2022 local elections.

    The Committee met this morning to consider submissions received on Council’s draft proposal for representation arrangements and to make a recommendation to Council about a final representation model for the 2022 and 2025 local elections, as part of the ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’.

    Following consultation on Council’s initial proposal for representation arrangements, elected members developed a preferred representation model consisting of the following:

    • 1 Mayor elected at large
    • 1 Māori Ward with 3 seats
    • 1 General Ward with 3 seats
    • 4 “At large” seats
    • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
    • A Rural Community Board

    This was deemed to better represent the needs of the Rotorua community and address a number of the key themes that emerged through the consultation process (achieving equality/parity, recognising the Treaty of Waitangi and Rotorua Township (Fenton) Agreement, co-governance, and equal suffrage).

    However, the Local Government Commission advised this model wouldn’t be permitted under the requirements of the Local Electoral Act - Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies Amendment Act 2021 (LEA). The preferred model is considered unlawful because it does not follow the formula for allocating seats to each ward as set out in Schedule 1A of the LEA. (For an explanation of the formula see section 5.2.2, page 16 of the full report).

    As Council is bound by legislative constraints to adopt a final representation model by Friday 19 November 2021, an alternative representation model has been put forward that achieves parity between the Māori Ward and the General Ward in a manner which is legally compliant with the formula set out in the LEA.

    That representation model is as follows:

    • 1 Mayor elected at large
    • 1 Māori Ward with 1 seat
    • 1 General Ward with 1 seat
    • 8 “At large” seats
    • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
    • A Rural Community Board

    While this model achieves parity between the Māori Ward and the General Ward, it reduces the number of available seats in the wards to 1 each, and increases the ‘at large’ seats to 8. This is the only formulation that can achieve parity between the wards in a manner which is legally compliant.

    While the majority of the Committee members remain in favour of the preferred model, because this is currently unlawful, the Committee was required to recommend Council adopts either the initial draft model that went out for consultation, or the revised model that achieves parity between the Māori Ward and the General Ward.

    A report to the Committee said it became clear through consultation that the model consulted on created imbalance in terms of how many people voters could vote for (those on the Māori roll would have total 7 votes (6 for councillors + 1 for the Mayor), those on the General Roll would have 9 (8 for councillors and 1 for the Mayor)).

    This reduced the influence voters on the Māori roll could have on overall composition of elected member group, contrary to the concept of parity.

    Council sought to redress the imbalance, resulting in the preferred model that was subsequently found to be unlawful.

    Voting

    The Committee was split in its decision today, with six voting in favour of recommending Council adopts the alternative model of 1 Mayor elected at large, 1 Māori Ward with 1 seat, 1 General Ward with 1 seat, 8 “At large” seats, A Rotorua Lakes Community Board and A Rural Community Board, while the Chief Executive seeks necessary statutory reforms to enable to preferred model to be adopted prior to the 2022 local election.

    Six voted against and Committee Chair Cr Merepeka Raukawa-Tait used her casting vote which meant the above was adopted as the committee’s recommendation to Council for final decision-making on Friday.

    The detailed motion the Committee has voted in favour of is as follows:

    • That the committee after considering the submissions and requirements of the Local Electoral Act recommends to Council to adopt a final representation model that consists of:

    - 1 Mayor elected at large

    - 1 Māori ward with 1 seat

    - 1 General ward with 1 seat

    - 8 “At large” seats

    - A Rotorua Lakes Community Board

    - A Rural Community Board

    • That the committee notes that despite the two recommended options, a different model, consisting of 3 Maori ward seats, 3 General ward seats and 4 at large seats is the preferred model for representing the best needs of Rotorua in accordance with the principles of the Local Government Act and the Treaty of Waitangi, but that this model is not enabled under the current legislation.
    • That the committee recommends to Council that it instruct the Chief Executive to pursue the necessary statutory reforms, or other means, by which the preferred model can be adopted by Council at the earliest possible time, including if possible, prior to the 2022 election.


    Voting was recorded as:

    Voted for:- Mayor Chadwick, Cr Donaldson, Cr Maxwell, Cr Raukawa-Tait, Mr Thomass, Cr Yates

    Voted against:- Cr Kai Fong, Cr Kumar, Cr Macpherson, Cr Tapsell, Mrs Trumper, Cr Wang,

    Cr Raukawa-Tait voted the casting vote for the motion as the Chair.

    Motion Carried 7/6

    Mr Morgan (Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board Member) declared a conflict of interest due to contributing to Te Tatau o Te Arawa’s submission on the initial proposal and withdrew from the discussion at the beginning of the meeting.

    Mr Biasiny-Tule (Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board Member) withdrew from the meeting partway through in protest at the process followed to develop the recommendations within the report.

    Cr Bentley indicated an early departure at the beginning of the meeting and was not present for the vote.


    The meeting was livestreamed and you can view a full recording of the meeting at THIS LINK on Council’s YouTube channel.

    You can view Agenda for the meeting HERE

    View the presentation relating to today’s meeting HERE

    Links to other related documents:

    Attachment 1 - Report to SPF 26 August 21- Adopt initial proposal.pdf

    Your Choice - 2022 Representation Review - Initial Proposal.pdf

  • 2022 Representation Review consultation now open

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    Kua whakarewa te wāhanga ki te tuku i ōu whakaaro mō te kaupapa Whakaahuahanga o te Kaunihera

    Consultation on Council’s proposal for representation arrangements now open

    As part of the ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’, Rotorua Lakes Council is now seeking feedback on its initial proposal for representation arrangements.

    Consultation will run from 8 September until 8 October 2021. Submissions are invited and will be considered in final decision-making.

    The representation arrangements that are ultimately adopted will apply to the 2022 and 2025 local elections.

    The representation arrangements proposed and out for consultation are for a mixed model membership structure with 1 Mayor and 10 councillor seats. The proposed structure is:

    • 1 Mayor elected at large
    • 1 Māori Ward with 2 seats
    • 1 General Ward with 4 seats
    • 4 “at large” seats
    • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board (4 elected members and 1 appointed councillor)
    • A Rural Community Board (4 elected members and 1 appointed councillor)

    View the full proposal and provide feedback on Council’s consultation platform - Kōrero Mai/Let’s Talk, HERE.

    Based on community, iwi and elected member feedback, a number of different scenarios for representation arrangements have been investigated and tested against the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001. The model out for consultation is the one considered to most fairly and effectively represent Rotorua communities.

    However we need community feedback to check that we’ve got this right, Council’s DCE - District Leadership & Democracy, Oonagh Hopkins says.

    “This is an important opportunity for the community to consider if the proposal on the table is going to fairly and effectively represent their interests when it comes to decision making for the district.

    “We’ll be hosting a series of Zoom webinars throughout the month and I strongly encourage people to register and participate in these to learn more about our thinking around this model. The webinars will also give participants the opportunity to share if they support the proposal, or think a different structure would be a better fit.

    “The outcome of the review will have a big impact on the way we vote in next year’s election. Local government is a democratic system so it’s really important that the views of our various communities are captured and considered as part of this consultation process.”

    The following Zoom webinars will be held during the consultation period. Everyone is welcome to register for a webinar. They will cover information about the representation review and the proposal, and will provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. There will be a limited number of participants in each webinar.

    Please register for a webinar by selecting the session you would like to attend.

    ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’ webinar schedule:


    Mēna kei te hiahia koe ki te hono mai ki ngā hui mo ngā iwi/hapū/whānau, otirā mo Ngai Māori o tēnei rohe o Te Arawa, tēna kōwhiringia te hui e pīrangi, wātea rānei ki te hono mai:


    Some of the webinars will also be recorded and available to watch on council’s consultation platform - Kōrero Mai/Let’s Talk.

    Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, face-to-face information sessions may be possible towards the end of the consultation period.

    Following consultation, public hearings will be held on 19 October for those who would like to speak to their submission.

    Council will then take all feedback into consideration and make a final decision on its representation arrangements for the 2022 election, adopting a final proposal in November 2021.

    There will be opportunity for members of the public to make an objection or appeal that decision before the final proposal is sent to the Local Government Commission.

    Learn more and have your say at rotorualakescouncil.nz/koreromai

    Māu e whiriwhiri, hei oranga mo te katoa!

  • Council adopts initial proposal for representation arrangements

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    Council has today adopted an initial proposal for representation arrangements to go out to public consultation, as recommended by the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee last week.

    Consultation will run from 8 September until 8 October 2021 with submissions to be invited and considered in final decision-making.

    The representation arrangements that are ultimately adopted will apply to the next two local elections.

    The representation arrangements proposed and going out to consultation are for a mixed model membership structure with 1 Mayor and 10 councillor seats. The proposed structure is:

    • 1 Mayor elected at large
    • 1 Māori Ward with 2 seats
    • 1 General Ward with 4 seats
    • 4 “at large” seats
    • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board (4 elected members and 1 appointed councillor)
    • A Rural Community Board (4 elected members and 1 appointed councillor)


    Division was called when Council voted on the recommendation today. Mayor Steve Chadwick and Councillors Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Dave Donaldson, Mercia Yates, Tania Tapsell, Trevor Maxwell and Fisher Wang voted in favour of the recommendation. Councillors Reynold MacPherson, Sandra Kai Fong, Peter Bentley and Raj Kumar voted against.

    Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, consultation on the proposal will be largely conducted online. Council will be hosting a series of webinars where members of the public can learn more about the representation review and the initial proposal and can ask questions of the project team. Webinar dates are currently being finalised and will be shared via Council’s channels once confirmed.

    Information about the representation review and the proposal is also available on Council’s consultation platform Let’s Talk – Korero Mai HERE.

    Following consultation, public hearings will be held in November for those who would like to speak to their submission.

    Council will then take all feedback into consideration and make a final decision on its representation arrangements for the 2022 election, adopting a final proposal in November 2021.

    There will be opportunity for members of the public to make an objection or appeal that decision before the final proposal is sent to the Local Government Commission.

    2022 Representation Review background information

    Local authorities are required to carry out a representation review at least every six years. Council’s last representation review was undertaken in 2015 and applied to the 2016 and 2019 local elections. Council is now required to undertake a representation review for the 2022 and 2025 local elections.

    On 21 May 2021, Council resolved to introduce Māori Wards following feedback from Te Tatau o te Arawa which undertook consultation with Te Arawa people, communities and entities, seeking feedback on the opportunity for Māori Wards. This decision activated the beginning of the ‘Your Choice 2022 Representation Review’.

    Directly following the decision to introduce a Māori Ward, Council started a community awareness programme, providing information on what a representation review involves and the factors needing to be considered when developing a model. More than 500 community groups and/or associations were directly contacted and provided with awareness material, directing them to Council’s Let’s Talk/Korero Mai platform for more information and an opportunity to complete a survey.

    There were also a number of public presentations, giving the community opportunities to learn about the representation review and ask questions.

    Elected members participated in four forums to define the principles on which to structure an initial proposal for consultation.

    Based on community, iwi and elected member feedback, eight different options were investigated and tested against the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001, with the option deemed to most fairly and effectively represent Rotorua communities approved for consultation by Council today.

    You can view the proposal in the document HERE on Council’s website, which includes the principles and mechanisms that have guided this process.

    The Council meeting agenda is available on Council’s website HERE

    See the presentation slides on this matter, from the Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee meeting last week, HERE

    More information about the ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’ is available on Council’s consultation platform Let’s Talk – Korero Mai HERE

    Today’s meeting was conducted online and was livestreamed. The recording is available to view HERE on Council’s YouTube channel. The representation model to take out to community consultation was the only item on the agenda today.


  • SP&F Committee to consider Representation Review initial proposal

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    The Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’ initial proposal.

    The Committee is being asked to recommend Council adopts the initial proposal and proceeds to public consultation from 8 September to 8 October 2021.

    The representation arrangements proposed are for a mixed model membership structure with 10 councillor seats and 1 Mayor. The proposed structure is as follows:

    • 1 Mayor elected at large
    • 1 Māori Ward with 2 seats
    • 1 General Ward with 4 seats
    • 4 “at large” seats
    • A Rotorua Lakes Community Board
    • A Rural Community Board


    Local authorities are required to carry out a representation review at least every six years. Council’s last representation review was undertaken in 2015 and applied to the 2016 and 2019 local elections. Council is now required to undertake a representation review for the 2022 and 2025 local elections.

    On 21 May 2021, Council resolved to introduce Māori Wards following feedback from Te Tatau o te Arawa which undertook consultation with Te Arawa people, communities and entities, seeking feedback on the opportunity for Māori Wards.

    This decision activated the beginning of the ‘Your Choice 2022 Representation Review’.

    Directly following the decision to introduce a Māori Ward, Council started a community awareness programme, providing information on what a representation review involves and the factors needing to be considered when developing a model. More than 500 community groups and/or associations were directly contacted and provided with awareness material, directing them to Council’s Let’s Talk/Korero Mai platform for more information and an opportunity to complete a survey.

    Additionally, a number of public presentations were made, giving the community opportunities to learn about the representation review and ask questions.

    Elected members have participated in four forums where they defined the principles on which to structure the initial proposal for consultation.

    Based on community, iwi and elected member feedback, eight different options were investigated and tested against the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

    The option deemed to most fairly and effectively represent Rotorua communities is detailed in the proposal being presented to the Committee this week. The proposal is available to the public on Council’s website HERE and includes the principles and mechanisms that have guided this process.

    Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the Committee will be meeting via Zoom at 1pm on Thursday 26 August. This will be livestreamed and available to watch HERE.

    The SP&F agenda, ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review report, and initial proposal is available on Council’s website HERE.

    More information about the ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’ is available on Council’s consultation platform Let’s Talk – Korero Mai HERE.


  • Residents encouraged to have their say in 2022 Representation Review

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    13 July 2021

    Ko te tikanga kia akiaki i te hapori o Rotorua whānui ki te tuku ō rātau whakaaro mo te Arotake Whakaahuahanga 2022 - Rotorua residents encouraged to have their say in Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review

    Rotorua Lakes Council is encouraging residents to start thinking about representation arrangements in Rotorua as part of the upcoming representation review.

    Council has launched the ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review’ project to review representation arrangements ahead of next year’s local government elections.

    This is a great opportunity for both Council and the community to consider if current arrangements are still fit-for-purpose, Council’s DCE - District Leadership & Democracy Oonagh Hopkins says.

    “The Representation Review allows us to take a fresh look at the structure of our elected members and how they are elected. It also provides the community with the opportunity to consider if they feel they are fairly and effectively represented at the Council table, and provide feedback if they think this could be improved.

    “Our current Council is one of the most diverse in the country, and we’re very proud of that, but it doesn’t mean there’s not room for improvement.

    “As our community continues to grow in population and diversity, it is appropriate to review our representation arrangements to ensure they’re serving their purpose,” says Ms Hopkins.

    In May this year Council resolved to establish a Māori Ward/s. This will be effective from next year’s election.

    The Representation Review won’t change this decision but will determine the structure of the Māori Ward/s.

    “Next election we will definitely have a Māori Ward, this won’t change. However the Representation Review will determine the number of elected members we have at the table, and this will impact how many Māori seats are within that ward or wards,” Ms Hopkins explains.

    “The review will determine if there is one Māori Ward or multiple wards, and if there are multiple, how many seats are within each of those wards.

    “There is a lot to consider, which could result in significant changes to our representation arrangements next year. I really encourage the community to familiarise themselves with what the review is about, what we’re going to be asking for feedback about, and to have their say when the time comes.

    “Local government is a democratic system and therefore it’s really important that our various communities feel their interests and voices are fairly and effectively represented at the decision-making table.”

    As part of the Review, Council will be considering, and asking for feedback about:

    • How many elected members should the district have;
    • Whether elected members should be elected from across the whole district or split into wards;
    • If wards are introduced, what the boundaries should be;
    • If we have wards, how many elected members we should have per ward;
    • Whether Community Boards be retained and/or new ones introduced;
    • The number of seats for the Māori Ward(s).

    The current model for the Rotorua district is one mayor, 10 councillors elected from across the district (at large), plus a Lakes Community Board and a Rural Community Board, each with 4 members elected to them (supplemented by one councillor per board, appointed by the mayor).

    There will be opportunities throughout July for the community to provide feedback on representation arrangements, both online and in person at public talks that are currently scheduled for:

    Everyone is welcome to attend these talks which aim to provide information about the Representation Review, and provide attendees with the opportunity to share their thoughts about representation arrangements in Rotorua. Both talks will also be livestreamed.

    Feedback collected will help inform the development of a proposal for these arrangements that will go to full Council on 31 August 2021 for approval for consultation.

    Once approved, the proposal will be out for public consultation from 8 September to 8 October 2021. Hearings will also be held in November for those who would like to speak to their submissions.

    Council will make a final decision on its representation arrangements for the 2022 election and adopt a final proposal in November 2021.

    There will also be opportunity for members of the public to make an objection or appeal before the final proposal is sent to the Local Government Commission.

    More information about the Representation Review is available at rotorualakescouncil.nz/koreromai

    Additional information

    Ngā pātai – FAQS (see fact sheet)


  • He aha te Arotake Whakaahuahanga? What is a ‘Representation Review’?

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    Rotorua Lakes Council’s ‘Your Choice – 2022 Representation Review will decide how many elected members will sit around the council table and make decisions on your behalf.

    Local authorities are required to review their representation arrangements at least once every six years. As part of the representation review a local authority can take a fresh look at the structure of its membership and the way they are elected. This could affect the total number of members, whether they come from a ward or ‘at large’ across the wider district, the boundaries of wards and constituencies, or the names of wards and constituencies.

    In simple terms, the following needs to be considered:

    • How many elected members should the district have?
    • Should elected members be elected from across the whole district or split into wards?
    • If wards are introduced, what should the boundaries be?
    • If we have wards, how many elected members should we have per ward?
    • Should Community Boards be introduced/retained?
    • Number of seats for Māori Ward/Wards


    The review must be publicly notified by the Council no later than 8 September 2021.

    Elections are held for local authorities every three years. This includes mayors, councillors and community board members. The next Rotorua Lakes Council elections will take place in October 2022.


    He aha i whai tikanga ai te arotake?
    Why are reviews important?

    • They ensure our electoral arrangements are fair;
    • They ensure equality of access;
    • They enable citizens to discuss the nature of effective representation in their cities; districts and regions;
    • They contribute to our experience of democracy not just locally but also nationally.


    Ināianei
    Present situation

    The current model for the district is:-

    • One mayor and 10 elected members, elected from across the district (‘at large’) , plus
    • A Lakes community board that comprises of 4 members elected from the lakes areas and 1 member appointed from the council, plus
    • A Rural community board that comprises of 4 members elected from the rural areas and 1 member appointed from the council.

    The district has had this model for the last two election rounds, 2016 and 2019.

    Te tau o ngā mema whai mana pōti
    Numbers of Elected Members

    The review can consider how many elected members are required to lead the Rotorua district and represent the needs of the people of Rotorua. The Mayor is elected ‘at large’. There could be between 5 and 29 members (excluding the Mayor) elected to the Rotorua Lakes Council.

    Questions to consider regarding the number of elected members include:

    • Can councillors easily attend public meetings throughout their area?
    • How easy is it for members of the public to meet with their councillors?
    • Can councillors effectively represent the views of the community at a district level?


    Ngā hapori whaipānga
    Communities of Interest

    Defining local ‘communities of interest’ is an essential part of the review process and needs to be carried out in order to determine how to provide effective representation. There is no legal definition for communities of interest but defining what one might be may include key factors such as:

    • A sense of community, identity and belonging
    • Similar demographic, socio-economic and /or ethnic characteristics
    • Similarity in economic activity
    • Dependence on shared facilities in an area
    • Physical and topographical features
    • The history of the area
    • The rohe or takiwa of local iwi
    • Transport and communication links


    Takiwā, ā rohe rānei?
    Wards or At Large?

    The district could be divided into wards if it is considered this provides a more effective and fairer way for residents to obtain access to elected members to have their views heard. If divided in to wards, each ward must elect at least one councillor, and each councillor representing a ward must be elected by the electors of that ward.

    The following options are available:

    • All councillors elected by wards
    • Some councillors elected by wards and some at large
    • All councillors elected at large.


    Takiwā Māori
    Māori Wards

    In February 2021 the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill was introduced and subsequently came into force on 1 March 2021. The law change means local polls can no longer overturn a councils’ decision to introduce Māori wards. It also means the deadline for councils to consider Māori wards for the 2022 local elections was extended to 21 May 2021.

    On 21 May 2021 Rotorua Lakes Council adopted the establishment of Māori Wards for the 2022 Local Election.

    Only those enrolled on the Māori roll can vote for Māori seats.

    Ngā Rāngai hapori
    Community Boards

    As part of the review, a territorial authority must consider whether community boards are (or would be) appropriate to provide fair and effective representation for individuals and communities in its district.

    The representation review provides a process to propose the constitution of new boards or alterations or disestablishment of existing boards. When carrying out a review, the required decisions are:

    • whether there need to be communities and community boards within the territorial authority’s district
    • if the territorial authority decides that one or more communities needs to be established (or retained)


    The area of a community board may be subdivided for electoral purposes. This includes provision for the community board members to be elected by wards if the community board area comprises two or more whole wards of a district.

Page last updated: 24 November 2021, 13:07