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Representation Review 2021

We want to hear your thoughts on the governance arrangements for Porirua City

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001 (the Act) we must review our electoral arrangements at least every six years. Porirua City last reviewed its arrangements in 2018 for the 2019 and 2022 elections.

Because of Council’s decision to establish a Māori ward for at least the 2022 local elections, we had to do another review before the 2022 elections.

To prepare our initial proposal for feedback, we looked at three options, and tested these against the requirements of the Local Electoral Act 2001.

To develop these options, we looked at:

  • where our communities of interest are
  • how these communities of interest are fairly and effectively represented by:
    • the way councillors are elected (ie at large, wards or a mixture of both)
    • the total number of councillors
    • ward numbers, names, and boundaries
    • community board arrangements
    • ensuring each councillor represents about the same number of people
  • the electoral system we use
  • any arrangements for Māori wards.

Council resolved, on 15 July 2020, to keep the Single Transferable Voting (STV) voting system for the 2022 elections.

Council also resolved, on 20 May 2021, to establish a Māori ward.

Council undertook preliminary consultation between 5 and 16 July, and formal consultation between 8 September and 8 October 2021.

20 May 2021 Council resolved to establish a Māori ward for the 2022 and 2025 local elections
5 July to 16 July 2021 We seek preliminary feedback from the public
16 July to 18 August
2021
Council considers that initial feedback and develops an initial proposal
19 August 2021 Te Puna Kōrero considers a proposed initial proposal
26 August 2021 Council adopts an initial proposal to go out for formal public consultation in the form of public submissions
6 September 2021 Submission period open
8 October 2021 Submission period closes
21 October 2021 Te Puna Kōrero hears and considers submissions
11 November 2021 Council adopts a final representation proposal to go out for formal public consultation in the form of public objections or appeals
16 November 2021 Formal objection / appeal period opens (we are here)
16 December 2021 Formal objection / appeal period closes

When a Māori ward is established, the total number of eligible voters is split into two groups – the general electoral population and the Māori electoral population. These numbers are then used to figure out ward boundaries.

General ward councillors are elected by voters on the general electoral roll, and Māori ward councillor(s) by voters on the Māori electoral roll.

Each general ward Councillor must represent approximately the same number of people. We are allowed a variance from this number of +/- 10%.

After the Māori electoral population is separated out from the total electoral population, the current wards don’t meet this criteria (see the table below), so we need to make some changes.

Current ward General electoral
population
Councillors Average Complies with 10%+/-
rule?
% Variation
Northern /Pukerua ki te
Raki
22,800 4 5,700 Yes + 7.8%
Eastern /Pāuatahanui ki
te uunga mai o te ra
21,300 4 5,325 Yes + 0.6%
Western / Titahi
Rangituhi Porirua ki te uru
8,780 2 4,390 No - 16.9%

To help us land on our final proposal, we engaged with the Porirua City community between 5 and 16 July 2021, and formally on our initial proposal between 8 September and 8 October 2021.

Council has considered this feedback and determined to adopt its initial proposal as its final proposal.

On 11 November 2021 the Council considered the 17 submissions received. Six submissions were in favour of the Council’s proposal and 11 submissions contained objections to various elements of the proposal.

The responses to these submissions that were adopted by Council at its meeting on 11 November 2021 are as follows:

Submitter Main Submission Points Council Response
Rachael Burke Rural ward should be
established to represent the rural community of interest.
See response to submissions 1, 3, 10, 11, and 12 below.
Details Withheld Ward split between higher
and lower income suburbs. Suggests two wards to the east and west of State
Highway 1.
Feedback noted.
Splitting the electoral population of Porirua City across State Highway 1 would not adequately represent the communities of interest in Porirua City.
Paul Nation Rural ward should be
established to represent the rural community of interest.
See response to submissions 1, 3, 10, 11, and 12 below.
Chris Darnell on behalf of
the Whitby Residents Association
Agrees with proposal.
Agrees community boards not
needed as these would duplicate villages.
Feedback noted.
Andrew Brown Does not support the
introduction of a Māori ward. Suggests only those paying rates should be
eligible to vote.
The introduction of a Māori ward is out of scope for the representation review as this has already been established by Council on 20 May 2021.The Local Electoral Act 2001 defines elector as “any person entitled under any law for the time being in force to vote at an election or poll, as the case may be, held under this Act”. This eligibility can only be changed by an Act of Parliament.
John Cody “an open Treaty-based
relationship with the relevant iwi or hapu would be preferable”
The appointment of a Kaumātua and establishment of a Māori ward are out of scope for this representation review. However, Council has signalled no change will be made to the current appointment of a Kaumātua to Committees as a voting member, and with speaking rights at Council.
Details withheld Supports the initial
proposal.
Feedback noted.
A.R. Branson Does not support the
establishment of a Māori ward.
Does not support the
establishment of wards.
Suggests Councillors are
elected at large.
Late additional comment:
Comment on taxation without representation.
The introduction of a Māori ward is out of scope for the representation review as this has already been established by Council on 20 May 2021.Council has identified that the best way to provide fair and effective representation for its communities of interest is through the establishment of wards.
Bella Cawthorn Supports the initial
proposal of two general wards and one Māori ward.
Submits that some
Councillors should be elected at large in future.
Feedback noted.
 
In developing the initial proposal, Council sought community feedback on having: all councillors elected from wards; all councillors at large; and councillors elected from a mixed system of wards and at large. Feedback received was highly supportive of councillors being elected solely from wards. Council took this feedback into account while developing the initial proposal.
Edward Guise Rural ward should be
established to represent the rural community of interest.
Comment on
non-establishment of community boards
See response to submissions 1, 3, 10, 11, and 12 below.
Christine Stanley Rural ward or community
board should be established to represent the rural community of interest.
See response to submissions 1, 3, 10, 11, and 12 below.
Diane Strugnell on behalf
of the Pāuatahanui Residents Association
Rural ward should be established to represent the rural community of
interest.
Comment on non-establishment of community boards
See response to submissions 1, 3, 10, 11, and 12 below.
Michael Collins Supports initial proposal.
Comment in support of the rural area being part of the northern ward.
Feedback noted.
Alan Shepard Supports initial proposal.
Comment about proposal reflecting Porirua City’s communities of
interest.
Feedback noted.
Details Withheld Does not support the initial proposal. Recommends
retaining current three wards.
 
 
 
Comment on lack of engagement.
Council’s proposed changing ward structure and boundaries as the current three wards do not comply with the fair and effective requirement under the Local Electoral Act 2001.
Feedback noted.
Graeme Ebbett on behalf of
the Titahi Bay Residents Association
Supports some aspects of initial proposal: Mayor elected at large,
nine general ward councillors, and one Māori ward councillor elected from one
Māori ward covering the entire district.
Opposes the proposal to add two further general wards.
Recommends one general ward covering the entire district.
Feedback noted.
 
 
 
Council determined as part of its initial proposal that two general wards were the best way to provide fair and effective representation for its communities of interest.
Details Withheld Supports the initial proposal and notes the preservation of the East
and West voice as important.
Feedback noted.

Response to submissions 1, 3, 10, 11, and 12 regarding the establishment of ward or community board to represent the rural community of interest:

  1. Several submissions objected to the initial proposal and recommended it be changed to establish a fourth ward, electing one councillor, representing the rural community of interest.
  2. Based upon nine councillors being elected from general wards, each Councillor represents approximately 5,877 people (+/- 10%, for a range of between 5,290 and 6,866).
  3. Officers sought the general electoral population of 33 meshblock areas corresponding with the “rural” and “rural lifestyle” zones in the proposed district plan. These meshblocks are shown below:

Map Rural

Map: Rural mesh blocks identified.

  1. StatsNZ have confirmed that 1,370 people live in the 33 rural meshblocks identified. Should a ward be established for this area, with one general ward councillor being elected, this ward would have a -76.6% variation.
  2. Under the Act, wards can be non-compliant with the 10%+/- rule if it would provide effective representation of a community of interest within island or isolated communities.[1] The Guidelines adopted by the Local Government Commission indicate that it is a significant bar to be considered an isolated community, including that a significant degree of physical isolation exists.
  3. An example of an isolated community recognised by the Commission is Banks Peninsula in the Christchurch City Council district, which the Commission allowed to continue with a -61.47% variance.
  4. It is unlikely that the rural community of interest would meet the significant test set by the Commission. It is therefore recommended that a rural ward not be established.
  5. Submitters 10 and 11 also raised the possibility of a community board for the rural area being established.
  6. As part of its initial proposal, Council determined when it adopted the initial proposal that it would not establish community boards as effective representation would not be enhanced by establishing community boards having considered the identified communities of interest in terms of distinctiveness, representation, access and effective governance.
  7. The SA2 (‘statistical area 2’, which is a larger grouping of meshblocks) areas of Paekākāriki Hill and Pāuatahanui (which encompasses the communities of Paekākāriki Hill, Judgeford, Pāuatahanui), contain a general electoral population of 1,330. Given this, and other methods used by Council to engage with this community, councillors are likely to provide sufficient representation of communities of interest and therefore ensure adequate mechanisms of representation and access between elected members and the population.
  8. Section 19N of the Act requires Council when considering submissions to provide reasons for any amendments to the initial proposal and to provide reasons for any rejection of submissions. These reasons are required to be included in the public notice advising of the final proposal.

map 2

Map: SA2 areas of Paekākāriki Hill and Pāuatahanui

Final Proposal

At its meeting on 11 November 2021, Council resolved to adopt its initial proposal as its final proposal, without change.

Council representation

Our final proposal is to have three wards made up of two general wards, and one Māori ward.

The general wards would elect nine councillors, and the Māori ward would elect one, giving us a total of ten councillors, plus the mayor (elected at-large).

Ward Names

Our mana whenua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, has gifted us three names for the new wards – all inspired by our harbour, Te Awarua-o-Porirua.

The harbour is a taonga, treasured by our people young and old, from across the city. It is a significant part of what makes Porirua special and its health is a priority for the city.

Te Awarua-o-Porirua harbour has two arms, Pāuatahanui and Onepoto, and the two general wards are named in line with these arms – Pāuatahanui General Ward in the north and Onepoto General Ward in the south.

The name for the new Māori ward is Parirua, the original name of the harbour and city, which translates to “twin flowings of the tide” and is of historical significance to Ngāti Toa.

Wards

The Pāuatahanui General Ward elects four councillors, from the communities of interest of Pukerua Bay, Paekākāriki Hill, Judgeford, Plimmerton, Hongoeka, Camborne, Paremata, Whitby, Pāuatahanui, Papakōwhai.

The Onepoto General Ward elects five councillors, from the communities of interest of Mana Island, Titahi Bay, Takapūwāhia, Elsdon, Kenepuru, Porirua City Centre, Ranui, Cannons Creek, Aotea, Waitangirua, Ascot Park.

The Parirua Māori Ward is elected city wide.

General Wards

A map of the general wards in the final proposal

Maori ward

A map of the Parirua Māori Ward in the final proposal

Ward Population (2020 estimates) Councillors Population per councillor
Pāuatahanui General Ward 22,900 4 5725
Onepoto General Ward 30,000 5 6000
Parirua Māori Ward 8,220 1 8,220

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, the population that each councillor represents must be within the range of 5877 +/- 10% (5290 to 6465), unless particular community of interest considerations justify otherwise. This applies between the general wards themselves, and between Māori wards themselves (if we were proposing to have two or more Māori wards).

None of the proposed wards fall outside of this range.

Community board representation

Council did not establish any community boards as part of the final proposal.

Appeals

One appeal against the Council's final proposal was received.

As a result, the final wards and council makeup for the 2022 local elections was determined by the Local Government Commission.

On 7 April 2022, the Commission upheld the Council's final proposal (outlined above) for the 2022 local elections.