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ECan decides on future representation structure

ECan decides on future representation structure

Months of debate among Environment Canterbury councillors finally today led to a unanimous decision on the recommended future representation structure of the regional council. The existing council structure of eight core Christchurch city regional councillors and six outside of Christchurch will continue if the recommendation is finally adopted.

Both North Canterbury and Selwyn/Banks Peninsula ECan constituencies would incorporate parts of the edge of Christchurch city under the proposal, in order to better meet the population requirements in the Local Electoral Act.

Other key elements include the Ellesmere area of Selwyn District moving to a new regional Rakaia constituency with Ashburton District (currently called Ashburton) and the confirmation of two councillors south of the Rangitata with separate South Canterbury and Waitaki constituencies.

The representation option will be put forward for public consultation next month. Other constituencies and councillors proposed include two for North Canterbury, one for Selwyn and one for Ashburton (proposed to be called Rakaia).

The chairman of Environment Canterbury’s representation review committee, Cr Robert Johnston welcomed the decision, saying it was one of the most significant issues that he’d been involved in his seven-and-a-half years as a regional councillor. “This sets the way for the next six years and to go forward with total support, including that of Christchurch urban councillors, is most significant and will be in the best long term interests of the Canterbury region,” he says.

The chairman of Environment Canterbury, Sir Kerry Burke congratulated all involved in the process this far. “The council decision reconciled as far as possible several conflicting fundamental principles. The unanimity was an especially valuable outcome.”

Environment Canterbury’s Waitaki representative, Cr June Slee, also welcomed the decision. “I am delighted with the result of this vote. That all councillors understand our community and have confirmed their support for the Waitaki constituency is very satisfying.”


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