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Final proposal on Representation Review

Council has adopted a final proposal following the Representation Review initial proposal consultation and hearings, signalling a major shift in the democratic representation of our district.

The proposal is for voting at large, the establishment of three community boards and nine councillors plus the mayor.

The proposed community boards will represent the three communities of interest – East Coast, Western Rural and Gisborne City.

The initial proposal for five wards, an extra city ward member and a boundary change was not supported.

Following public consultation on the initial proposal, several public submissions called for fewer councillors and the establishment of community boards.

“The Representation Review process tends to be underestimated and yet it is my view that it is probably one of the most important processes in terms of its overall impact on communities, comparable to the Long Term Plan,” says council’s chief executive Nedine Thatcher-Swann.

“Representation arrangements themselves, that is, how councillors are elected and community board members, provides the vehicle to enable the effective voice of its citizens and communities. It gives effect to how citizens can shape, influence and protect the wellbeing of the district. “

Council’s director of internal partnerships James Baty said the representation review process was politically challenging.

“It is the definition of a balancing act trying to weigh up effective representation of communities of interest and fair representation of electors.

“Adding to this challenge is the complexity of the legislative requirements which officials worked hard to navigate through alongside councillors. To simply arrive a final proposal of any description is an achievement.”

The final proposal is subject to a one-month appeal and objection period.

If any appeal or objection is received, the matter is forwarded to the Local Government Commission for determination.


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