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Have your say on boundary changes and te reo names

4 April 2018

Have your say on boundary changes and te reo names for Council wards

Wellington City Council wants your views on proposed changes for Council elections, representation and ward names, Deputy Mayor Jill Day says.

“This is your chance to have a say in how Council members are elected, how elections are run and what types of wards or community boards we have,” the Deputy Mayor says.

Under the Local Electoral Act, the Council has to review its electoral arrangements at least every six years. Wellington’s previous review was in 2012.

Representation reviews look at:

· the basis on which the Council’s members are elected (ie at large, wards or a mixture of both),

· community board arrangements,

· the electoral system to be used, and

· arrangements for Māori wards or constituencies.

The Council is proposing five changes to ward boundaries, to keep the current community boards and to add te reo Māori names to the wards. The proposal does not include the addition of Māori wards or more community boards.

The proposal is a result of initial discussions with mana whenua, residents and research on the current arrangements.

Deputy Mayor Day says the key changes proposed are adjustments to the boundaries for the Southern Ward.

“Essentially these are to iron out discrepancies between wards in terms of population and representation,” the Deputy Mayor says, who leads the Governance and Māori Partnerships portfolios.

“Each seat should represent a similar number of people. Our proposal leaves a couple of wards outside the Act’s rules for fair representation, but it was not possible to be completely compliant because of our desire to protect communities of interest.

“It is a sensible proposal which fixes what it can. But I am looking forward to seeing what Wellingtonians think.”

However, she says the most exciting part of the review for her is the proposal to introduce bilingual ward names.

“Te reo is the foundation of Māori culture and identity. It is beautiful and it’s ours – it’s official. This naming opportunity will not come again for another six years. So, we took hold of it and we want Wellington to take hold of these names too.

“Wellington is ready to recognise its te reo history, and bring these special names back to the future so our mokopuna can grow up with them, and with te reo.”

The Representation Review proposal is available on the Council’s website, from the service centre and will be available at city libraries later this week.

There is a public meeting at the Brooklyn Community Hall on Monday 16 April where councillors and officials will be present to answer questions.

The consultation closes on 4 May. Oral submissions will be heard 7-25 May and the Council will make a final decision at its meeting on 30 May.

The decision will be publicly notified on 13 June and there is a period from 13 June to 13 July for appeals and objections.

ENDS

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