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Fifty two public submissions on Your Choice election review

Thursday 8 October 2015

Fifty two public submissions on Your Choice election review

Public consultation on Rotorua Lakes Council’s Your Choice 2016 election review closed last week with 52 submissions lodged.

Nine of the submitters have opted to speak to the mayor and councillors about their submissions at a public hearing scheduled for the morning of Tuesday 3 November.

Your Choice Working Party chairperson, Councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, said detailed analysis of submissions had yet to be undertaken by council staff. However a preliminary assessment indicated general consensus in support of the working party’s proposals.

The proposals included reducing the number of councillors from 12 to ten, and establishing a new community board to provide a voice for the rural community in addition to retention of the existing Lakes Community Board.

The working party also recommended that the current ‘at large’ voting system be retained rather than a return to voting for councillors by wards.

Mrs Raukawa-Tait said she wasn’t really surprised that the council had not been inundated with submissions in the final consultation phase.

“This hasn’t become a particularly contentious issue. That’s probably a result of the comprehensive and inclusive community conversation our working party members undertook earlier. The recommendations that came out of that phase of consultation appear to have been seen as a pretty good reflection of the thinking of many of the people we engaged with.

“I think it shows that we listened to their views and we took on board their concerns.”

Following the public hearing, submissions will be fully analysed and a report prepared for a council meeting on 12 November. Both the hearing and the council meeting will be open to the public.

Once Rotorua Lakes Council makes its decisions on election arrangements for the 2016 local government election, residents will have the opportunity of lodging appeals against any of the decisions. Any appeals received will be determined independently by the Local Government Commission, with final election arrangements due to confirmed by April 2016.

The next local government election is scheduled for October next year.


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