Why is the representation review relevant to me?
It's a review of the Council’s membership to ensure we're providing fair and effective representation across our communities. When we carry out formal consultation in August 2021, you'll be able to help shape what representation for the district looks like going forward.
Where and what does the review cover?
The review will cover the whole Horowhenua District including all wards and the community board, boundaries and subdivisions.
Why are we doing this?
We're required by law (Local Electoral Act 2001) to undertake a representation review at least every six years. The last review, held in 2018, resulted in the structure we see today and saw no major changes from the 2012 review.
Who will this affect?
You and the people living around you!
The people you elect are the voice of your community. That voice should represent everyone who chooses to make the Horowhenua District their home and must represent and balance differing interests. It's important that everyone feels represented fairly and effectively.
If people feel well represented with the current system, then tell us.
If you don't feel well represented by the current ward and community board structure, tell us what you think will improve it – we want to hear from you.
When will any changes come into effect?
An initial proposal will be adopted by Council on 11 August 2021 and go out for consultation on 20 August, for four weeks. After formal consultation, there'll be a hearing of submissions and the final proposal will be adopted in October. The updated representation arrangements will take effect for the next local body elections in 2022 and stay in effect for six years or until the next review.
What are Māori Wards?
Māori wards are the local government equivalent of the Māori parliamentary electorates. Electors on the Māori electoral roll will vote for and be represented by candidates contesting a Māori ward rather than candidates contesting a general ward. A councillor elected via a Māori ward represents the entire district in their decision making.
An announcement in February 2021 on Māori representation from the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Local Government, gave councils the opportunity to revisit establishing Māori wards in time for the 2022 local body election.
On 19 May 2021, Horowhenua District Council took the opportunity to unanimously vote to introduce Māori wards for the 2022 elections.
Who can stand for election in a Māori ward?
To be eligible to stand for election, a candidate must be:
- a New Zealand citizen (by birth or citizenship ceremony); and
- enrolled as a Parliamentary elector (anywhere in New Zealand); and
- nominated by two electors whose names appear on the electoral roll within the respective area that a candidate is standing for. As such, candidates in Māori wards do not have to be of Māori descent.
Candidates cannot stand for general and Māori wards at the same time.
Who can vote for Māori ward candidates in an election?
Voters on the Māori electoral roll will vote for and be represented by candidates contesting a Māori ward rather than candidates contesting a general ward. Voters on the general electoral roll will continue to vote for candidates contesting general wards.
Everyone will vote for the Mayor, who is elected at large (across the whole district).