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Council Adopts Final Representation Proposal

Marlborough District Council has adopted a final proposal for its representation arrangements for the 2022 and 2025 elections.

The recommended proposal means Marlborough District Council will consist of a mayor and 14 councillors with a Blenheim Ward of seven members, a Wairau-Awatere Ward of three members, a Marlborough Sounds Ward of three members and a Marlborough Māori Ward of one member.

The Council received 29 public submissions on its proposal. The majority of submitters (27) wanted the Council to use the provisions of section 19V(3)(a) of the Local Electoral Act 2001 (island or isolated communities) to maintain the makeup of the Marlborough Sounds Ward at three members, which in effect increases the total number of councillors to 14 from the current 13.

The proposal to continue with three councillors in the Marlborough Sounds Ward falls outside the plus or minus 10 percent population formula in the Local Electoral Act, which means that the proposal must be referred to the Local Government Commission for a final determination.

Deputy Mayor Nadine Taylor, who is a Marlborough Sounds Ward councillor, noted that in the past three representation reviews the Local Government Commission had endorsed the retention of a third Marlborough Sounds Ward member.

“The Marlborough Sounds Ward is a large geographic area with numerous small communities that has special and unique transport and communications challenges. It contains two boat access-only island communities - Rangitoto ke ti Tonga/D’Urville Island and Arapaoa Island.”

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“People who submitted felt strongly that the Marlborough Sounds Ward needs three councillors to provide effective representation for its isolated communities.”

“Last July’s storm event revealed the fragility of the roading system in the Sounds and highlighted the connectivity challenges many Sounds residents face on a daily basis. There are also a number of areas which have limited or no internet connection or mobile phone coverage.”

No public submissions were received opposing the transfer of Omaka Landing and Rose Manor from the Wairau-Awatere Ward to the Blenheim Ward. No submissions were received supporting the establishment of community boards.

The final proposal will be advertised this week. Anyone who made a submission on the Council’s initial proposal may lodge a written appeal against the Council’s decision. An appeal must relate to the matters raised in that person's submission. Because the Council has amended its initial proposal any interested person or organisation may lodge a written objection against the Council’s decision.

Appeals or objections must be received by 5.00 pm on 20 December 2021 via election@marlborough.govt.nz

Any enquiries should be made to Mike Porter, Democratic Services Manager; Ph: 03 520 7400.

Information on the Representation Review 2021 is available at www.marlborough.govt.nz/your-council/elections/representation-review-2021

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