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How Would You Like To Be Represented, Kāpiti?

Following the decision to establish a Māori ward in November last year, Kāpiti Coast District Council is seeking feedback to help inform future representation arrangements.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow says Council completed a comprehensive review of its representation arrangements in 2021 and they aren’t due for another review until 2027.

“Council’s decision to establish a Māori ward was made prior to the new government signalling they propose to bring back polls for Māori wards, including requiring a vote on any wards set up without a poll at the next local elections.

“It’s currently unclear how this commitment will be implemented and in what timeframe. We must follow current legalisation, which is to run a representation review this year for the Māori ward to be in place for the 2025 local government elections.

“As we’ve recently undertaken a representation review, we aim to keep this review as streamlined and low cost as possible while ensuring the community has an opportunity to be engaged in the process.

“In Kāpiti, we currently have four general wards with seven elected councillors and three districtwide councillors elected by voters across the district. In total this equates to ten councillors. We also have one mayor and five community boards.

“We’re now checking to see if we have the right number of councillors and if they should be elected from wards, districtwide, or a combination of both, if we have the right ward boundaries, and how the new Māori ward could fit into the arrangements.

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“The number of people enrolled on the Māori electoral roll compared to our district’s general electoral population indicates it’s likely only one Māori ward, encompassing the entire Kāpiti Coast, will be set up.

“We haven’t decided how the Māori ward and its new Māori ward Councillor will be incorporated into our representation arrangements. However, as part of this early engagement process, we’ve provided three concepts for people to consider. Working with mana whenua, we’d like to hear what concept people would prefer or if another concept would work best.

“We also need to consider how the new Māori ward Councillor could connect back to community boards as other ward Councillors do.

“This feedback will help shape an initial representation arrangement proposal that we’ll bring back to the community for consultation later this year.

“There are several ways for people to provide their initial thoughts, including a survey on our website and at our libraries and service centres, as well as drop-in sessions with our elected members and staff.

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