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Council Agrees On Representation Proposal

At an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, Council confirmed an initial proposal for community consultation as part of the representation review.

The proposal includes the removal of current wards in favour of a single district-wide ward for both general and Māori wards called Tairāwhiti General Ward and Tairāwhiti Māori Ward. Council agreed to keep 13 councillors from those wards – eight from the Tairāwhiti General Ward and five from the Tairāwhiti Māori Ward, this recognised the workload of a unitary authority and to provide effective representation of Gisborne District residents and ratepayers.

This proposal also recognises feedback received from the community identifying with the whole of Tairāwhiti as a community of interest and the introduction of the Single Transferrable Voting system which supports proportional representation for particular communities.

Director of Internal Partnerships James Baty says that it’s important that everyone has their say on the proposal.

“Having one ward for both the general and Māori wards means significant differences to the way our community is represented around the Council table and is very different to what we have now.

“It’s important everyone understands what the changes mean and tells us if we’ve got it right,” he said.

A series of public meetings across the district and online education materials will be made available to the community to help understand the changes and make informed submissions. The community can give feedback through the Council website or a submission form, which will be posted out to all households in Tairāwhiti.

The submission period is open from Monday 16 August to Thursday 16 September.

More information can be found on Council’s website.

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