Your Choice - Representation Review | Arotakenga Manapori 2021

Consultation opened on 20 August 2021

Thumbnail image for the 2021 Representation Review.

We're carrying out a representation review to look at how the district’s communities are represented at the council table.

We need to decide how many councillors we’ll have, the number of wards including the newly established Māori ward, their boundaries and names.

The Representation Review Initial Proposal document outlines a proposal we think could work best to provide fair, effective representation across the district.

Representation Review Initial Proposal 2021 | Arotakenga Manapori Mahere Tōmua 2021(PDF, 1MB)

Consultation closing date extended

At its meeting held on Wednesday 8 September 2021, Council resolved to extend the consultation date to Wednesday 6 October 2021. This will enable more time to engage and consult with the community, following several weeks of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Community Drop-in sessions will be held over the coming weeks. We will share details about these once arrangements have been finalised.

A review of arrangements needs to consider our growing population, and ensure that our communities are represented fairly, with each councillor representing the same number of people.

During the review, Council considers these key factors:

  • What are our District’s communities of interest?
  • How can those communities be effectively represented?
  • How can those communities be fairly represented?

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 was in 2018 that resulted in the structure we see today, where there were no major changes from the 2012 review.

The Council’s decision on 19 May 2021 to introduce Māori Wards triggered the requirement to undertake a representation review this year. The outcome of this review will apply to the 2022 local elections.

The number of councillors and community board members in each ward or subdivision is based on the number of people living in each area. Each councillor should represent a similar number of people.

  • Mayor - elected at large (district wide)
  • Ten Councillors – elected to represent a ward 
  • Five Community Board members.

Map of the current Ward boundaries for the Horowhenua District Council.

Horowhenua District Wards

The Horowhenua District has four general wards.

  • Kere Kere Ward - 2 councillors
  • Levin Ward - 5 councillors
  • Miranui Ward - 1 councillor
  • Waiopehu Ward - 2 councillors.

Foxton Community Board

The Horowhenua District has one Community Board, being the Foxton Community Board.

Communities of Interest

Kere Kere Ward

The townships of Foxton and Foxton Beach, and surrounding rural areas.

Levin Ward The town of Levin. 

Miranui Ward

The townships of Shannon and Tokomaru, and surrounding rural areas.

Waiopehu Ward

The townships of Waitārere Beach, Hōkio Beach, Ōhau, Waikawa Beach and Manakau, and the surrounding rural areas.

As part of the review, we must identify the district’s communities of interest. Local Government Commission guidelines recognise a community of interest according to these criteria:

  • Geographical features
  • Economic activities
  • Shared facilities and services
  • Distinctive history
  • Community activities and focal points
  • The rohe or takiwā of local iwi.

Any or all of these may produce a sense of community identity. In addition, there can be physical or topographical features that define a community of interest. We need to recognise that communities can and do change over time, particularly with the growth and development that the district is experiencing.

Following consideration of different options at a Council meeting on 11 August 2021, Council is recommending the following arrangements for the 2022 local elections:

  • 9 councillors in total - 8 general ward councillors elected from three general wards;
  • 1 Māori ward councillor elected from one districtwide ward; plus
  • the Mayor elected at large.

What has changed?

This reduces the number from 10 to 8 general ward councillors, with the addition of one Māori ward with one councillor.

We're proposing nine councillors in total plus the mayor, as this will provide:

  • The ability to be inclusive, collaborative, make decisions effectively and be responsive to the needs of the district
  • An adequate number of members to share the workload and maintain a cohesive decision making model
  • Remuneration at a fair level which may attract people from all backgrounds.

The number of general and Māori councillors is determined by legislation. It depends on the total number of councillors to be elected for the district, and the latest available general electoral population and Māori electoral population statistics.

You can view the Initial Proposal below.

Representation Review Initial Proposal 2021 | Arotakenga Manapori Mahere Tōmua 2021(PDF, 1MB)

We're proposing three general wards plus a single Māori ward - to combine the Kere Kere and Miranui wards, retain the Levin and Waiopehu wards, with the addition of one districtwide Māori ward.

The proposal includes:

  • Combining the Kere Kere Ward and Miranui Ward – these wards align as communities of interest as they are both rural. Combining the wards complies with the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001 for fair and effective representation
  • Shifting Kere Kere Ward meshblocks located south of the Manawatū River, into the Waiopehu Ward
  • Shifting Waiopehu Ward meshblocks east of Levin, (Queen Street East / Gladstone Road / Tararua Road / Arapaepae Road) into the Levin Ward.

It's proposed that:

  • The Foxton Community Board be retained
  • The name of the Board be changed to: Te Awahou Foxton Community Board
  • The Foxton Community Board comprises 5 members elected at large
  • One member representing the Kere Kere-Miranui Ward, be appointed by the Council.

It's proposed that the boundaries of the Board remain the same as present.

To help us determine our final representation arrangements and the make-up of the council and community board, you can make a submission on:

  • The total number of councillors;
  • The number and boundaries of general and Māori wards; and
  • The names of general and Māori wards.

We're not able to consider feedback on whether Māori wards should be established – that decision has already been made and cannot be reversed through this representation review process.

Anyone can make a submission by either filling out an online form or by filling out the downloadable print form (which can also be picked up from and delivered to our service centres). 

Submit online

Submission Form | Te puka tāpaetanga (Print version)(PDF, 145KB)

Hard copy submissions can be:

  • delivered to: Horowhenua District Council (126 Oxford Street, Levin), Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō (Bath Street, Levin), Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom (92 Main Street, Foxton) or Shannon Library (Plimmer Terrace, Shannon); or
  • posted to: Horowhenua District Council, Private Bag 4002, Levin 5540; or
  • emailed to:

When you make your submission you can choose to present at a Hearing. Submitters are advised that in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 and subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, all submissions including submitters' names and contact details shall be made available to the public.

Submissions must be received no later than 5pm on Wednesday 6 October 2021 (extended from 20 September). 

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).