Elections for your local council are held every three years so you can decide who will represent you. To achieve fair and effective representation, councils must review their representation arrangements at least once every six years. Our council’s last review was in 2018.
However, as a result of our recent decision to introduce a Māori ward, we are now required to take a fresh look at how many elected members there are and what communities they represent. Your feedback will help shape what representation in the Taupō District looks like going forward.
What is being reviewed as part of this process?
The aim of this representation review is to ensure fair and effective representation for our people and their communities that provides an effective voice and strengthens local democracy.
The scope of such representation reviews cover:
- how many councillors we should have
- which geographical areas they should represent
- the boundaries and name of our new Māori ward - Te Papamārearea
- whether we should have community boards
Please note that the decision to establish a Māori ward has already been made and is not in scope for this representation review.
As part of the review, we must identify the Taupō District’s communities of interest. Local Government Commission guidelines recognise a community of interest according to three criteria:
- perceptual – a sense of belonging to a clearly defined area or locality
- functional – the ability to meet with reasonable economy the community’s requirements for comprehensive physical and human services
- political – the ability of the elected body to represent the interests and reconcile the conflicts of all its members
We must then ensure effective representation of these communities of interest and take into account fair representation of electors - based on the plus-or-minus ‘10 percent rule’, which for our district means one Councillor for every 2,900 - 3,600 people.
For the 2022 and 2025 elections, council is proposing the following:
We think that the combined changes will ensure that no matter where you are in the district, there will be someone who knows your area sitting at making decisions on your behalf.
How will this change the current arrangements?
Council’s current arrangements as confirmed at the last review in 2018 include a mayor elected at large and councillors elected via four wards as follows:
Note – all elected councillors are required to act on behalf of everyone in the district.
Our commitment to local representation
We know the Turangi - Tongariro, Mangakino - Pouakani, and Taupō East Rural areas are all different, and have their own needs for Council services.
So, in addition to the wards ensuring a councillor from each area, Council usually sets up a Council Committee (known as a Representative Group) for each area. These have a mix of councillors, appointed locals, and Māori. Their job is to review and provide advice on proposals that affect the area, and make decisions on local matters.
This means that if you’ve got an issue or need some help with council’s services you have a number of people you can contact:
- The Mayor
- Your local councillor
- Any other councillor
- Any of your local representative group members.
While it is up to the new Council elected in 2022 to determine its council committees and their delegations, these Representative Groups are a longstanding convention, which is expected to continue.
Thank you for all of the submissions received. Submissions closed at 4.30pm on Monday, 9 August 2021.