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Council Opts Not To Include Māori Constituency

The Council has decided not to include a Māori constituency in the next local elections in 2025.

"We have previously considered the option of a Māori constituency and felt the best, most appropriate representation was direct representation by mana whenua.

"Nothing has changed to alter our view of that, which is consistent with the advice we have had from Papatipu Rūnanga," Chair Peter Scott said.

"We have had mana whenua representation arrangements with Ngāi Tahu for more than a decade and we value the enhanced decision-making that results from that."

Current representation

Current representation is through 16 councillors - 14 elected from 7 constituencies plus the two Ngāi Tahu councillors enabled through the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Act 2022.

"Our two Ngāi Tahu councillors bring a mana whenua perspective to our decision-making and their presence at the Council table recognises the status Ngāi Tahu hold as mana whenua as recognised by the Crown through their Treaty settlement," Scott added.

Read more about our direct Ngāi Tahu representation.

Representation review

The Council must review representation arrangements every six years. The last review was in 2018/19.

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The representation review determines the number, size and boundaries of constituencies, determining the number of councillors. These arrangements would apply to the 2025 and 2028 local elections.

The Council can choose to include a Māori constituency, for which anyone on the general or Māori parliamentary roll can stand for election. Only people enrolled for Te Tai Tonga electorate who reside in the constituency would be eligible to vote.

In August, the Council decided to use the first past the post voting system.

Other decisions from the 22 November meeting

Trust appointment: The Council appointed Councillor Greg Byrnes to the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Trust, replacing Councillor Paul Dietsche.

Public transport funding: Extra funding was approved to increase the frequency of Route 7 services, as part of the approved Public Transport Futures programme delivery in Greater Christchurch. The extra funding is to meet cost increases since the budget was approved in the Long-Term Plan 2021-31.

Wilding conifer control funding: The Council approved the administration steps necessary to receive the $4.1 million of additional funding allocated by the Government for wilding control. The boost is in addition to the $3.6 million already included for the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme in Canterbury.

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