Like other councils, we are required to undertake a review of our current representation arrangements at least once every six years. This is to ensure we provide fair and effective representation for people and their communities, provide an effective voice, strengthen local democracy and help maintain confidence in local government.
We last reviewed our representation arrangements in 2018.The Local Government Commission, an independent government body that oversees councils’ representation reviews, recommended that we complete another review in 2021. This review will decide on how you will be represented at the 2022 council elections.
What we will consider
The Review considers:
- The number of voting areas (called 'wards'), if any, that is best for our district
- Whether we want to elect all, or some, of our councillors across the whole district or from a number of wards
- How many councillors there should be
- How many councillors there should be in each ward
- Whether we want to have community boards, and if so, how many members should each board have, which areas should they cover, and whether a board should be divided into subdivisions.
To determine the above issues, we have to take account of the following three key factors:
- To identify the District’s communities of interest;
- To ensure those communities of interest are effectively represented; and
- To ensure that electors are fairly represented - based on the '+/- 10 percent rule' for wards. For Waikato District Council, this means one elected member for every 5,535 to 6,766 people, unless there is a particular community of interest which may fall within one of the permitted exceptions.
What falls outside the review
The review does not look at:
- How communities are funded. This is considered as part of the Council’s Long Term Plan or Annual Plan, for which there are separate public consultations.
- The remuneration of elected members. The Remuneration Authority determines a pool of funding for remunerating Councillors, which does not change based on the number of Councillors.
Our current representation arrangements
- Waikato District has one Mayor who is elected by the whole of the district
- The District is divided into ten wards. Here is a map which shows you what our district currently looks like
- There are 13 councillors in total. Each ward has between one and two councillors.
- We also have five community boards – each board has six elected members, and either one or two appointed Councillors.
Reshape Waikato Community Board and Ward Mapping Tool
As part of the final stage of early engagement for Reshape Waikato, we are releasing a geographic information system (GIS) tool that allows the public to create community board and ward models.
Click the link below to have a go at create your own community board and ward model.
Local Government Commission- The Representation Review Process
Have questions or want to learn more about this project, contact us below: