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Changes proposed to ECan’s constituency boundaries

August 10, 2006

Changes proposed to ECan’s constituency boundaries – submissions sought
Environment Canterbury has this week advertised in daily newspapers proposed changes to its elected representatives’ constituency boundaries.

If agreed to, these will change the shape of the regional council constituencies for the Christchurch constituencies, Ellesmere and Ashburton. The proposed changes do not have any bearing on rates for householders.

Some areas of Christchurch, for example, Belfast, Northwood, North Shore through to Spencerville and Brooklands, would become part of an enlarged North Canterbury constituency. Templeton would move out of South Christchurch into Selwyn/Banks Peninsula. Yaldhurst and McLeans Island would move out of West Christchurch into Selwyn/Banks Peninsula.

At present the Christchurch city regional constituencies (north, south, east and west) run along the Waimakariri River to the north and south along the Port Hills.

The other key change proposed is to include Ashburton and Ellesmere ward of Selwyn District in the one constituency which would be renamed Rakaia. At present Ellesmere ward is part of Selwyn/Banks Peninsula in the regional structure.

“This proposal represents some quite significant changes,” said Cr Robert Johnston, chairman of ECan’s representation review committee.

“The proposal for the four Christchurch city constituencies do contain departures from the existing boundaries brought about by some areas going into Selwyn/Banks Peninsula or North Canterbury and also internal rearrangements. Residents need to focus on whether this proposed internal structure for the Christchurch constituencies is satisfactory or whether these boundaries could be settled with more minor adjustments to the existing system.

“Overall, the new proposal retains the six out-of-Christchurch, eight-in-Christchurch councillor balance; it retains a separate Waitaki constituency and it has virtual compliance with the Local Electoral Act’s plus or minus ten percent population guideline with only one major exception (Waitaki). Importantly, this proposal received unanimous support from all councillors. These are major positive steps.”

Full maps showing the existing boundaries and the proposed new boundaries are on ECan’s website - http://www.ecan.govt.nz/About+Us/Council+Info/Propsed+New+System.htm.

The Akaroa/Wairewa and Lyttelton/Mt Herbert communities would remain in the Selwyn/Banks Peninsula constituency, which would spread further north and east into Christchurch and include Yaldhurst, Templeton and McLeans Island.

The South Canterbury and Waitaki constituencies remain unchanged under the proposal.

Submissions can be forwarded to Environment Canterbury at PO Box 345, Christchurch or emailed to repreview@ecan.govt.nz before 4pm on Wednesday, September 13. Environment Canterbury is aiming to have all the submissions considered by October 9.

ENDS

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