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Council Due To Propose Future Representation Arrangements

This August is set to be a significant month for local government in Ruapehu with Council due to decide on its 'initial representation proposal' at its meeting on the 25th.

The 'initial representation proposal', which will be consulted on with Ruapehu communities, will set out Council's key representation decisions including the number of councillors, how they are elected (at large or by wards or a mix), and whether to have Community Boards.

If Council opts for wards and Community Boards the 'initial representation proposal' will also put forward the boundaries and names for both.

Mayor Cameron said that representation reviews are important in helping to ensure that representation arrangements reflect current and future communities and provide fair and effective representation for all.

“This representation review has a special significance due to Council's decision to introduce Māori Wards for the next elections in October 2022,” he said.

“The only decisions ‘set in stone’ are the introduction of Māori wards, that the election will be by single transferable vote (STV), and that the mayor is elected at large.

The decision on the total number of councillors is important as this determines how many Māori ward councillors there are and their proportion of Council.

The 'initial representation proposal' will then be consulted on for a month from 7 September to 8 October where we will be seeking feedback on Council's proposals for both General and Māori wards.

Community hui have been scheduled for Ohakune (9 Sept), National Park (16 Sept), Taumarunui (22 Sept) and Ohura (30 Sept) in support of the consultation.

Before Council's 25th August decision meeting the National Park and Waimarino-Waiouru Community Boards will discuss the issues at their hui this week, and two special hui on Māori wards are being held at the Raetihi Marae (11 Aug), and Morero Marae (12 Aug) in Taumarunui.

The hui at the Raetihi and Morero Marae are open to the whole community and I would encourage people to come along and take part in the discussion on what Māori wards will mean for local government in Ruapehu.”

Mayor Cameron added that Council must consider any feedback from the consultation on their 'initial representation proposal' then release a 'final representation proposal' within 6 weeks of the consultation period closing.

People are able to object to the 'final representation proposal' but only if they made a submission on the 'initial representation proposal' or if Council makes changes to it.

If there are any valid objections to the ‘final representation proposal’ then these are considered by the Local Government Commission who have the final say.

Mayor Cameron noted that the Council elected next October will bring in a new diverse range of voices and experience that reflects our diverse communities of interest.

While undoubtedly there are likely to be some settling issues, once elected all members take an oath to represent, and make decisions, on behalf of the whole district, and all residents and ratepayers.

I would urge people to be excited about the future of local government in Ruapehu and the potential the new look Council has to deliver better outcomes for everyone,” he said.

© Scoop Media

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