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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 need 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.

Under the Act, Council can only consult on one proposal.

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
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
19 November 2021 Formal objection / appeal period opens
20 December 2021 Formal objection / appeal period closes

At the moment you’re represented by a mayor and 10 councillors. Councillors are elected from three general wards.

The Eastern /Pāuatahanui ki te uunga mai o te ra ward elects four councillors, the Northern /Pukerua ki te Raki ward elects four councillors, and the Western / Titahi Rangituhi Porirua ki te uru Ward elects two councillors.

There are no community boards.

Unsure what ward you are currently in? Use our ward finder to find out.

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
Councillors Average Complies with 10%+/-
% Variation
Northern /Pukerua ki te
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 initial proposal, we engaged with the Porirua City community between 5 and 16 July 2021.

We released a survey that asked five questions to help shape the development of our initial proposal.

Our Democratic Services team also attended events across Porirua City to talk to residents about their views.

The results of this preliminary engagement were presented to Council to help it decide on its initial proposal.

Council has considered this feedback and determined that the initial proposal set out in this booklet is the best way forward – providing fair and effective representation and preserving communities of interest.

What We're Proposing

After weighing everything up, Council proposes the following option:

Council representation

Our initial 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 proposed 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 it’s proposed that 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 proposed for the 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.


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

The Onepoto General Ward would elect 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 would be elected city wide.

General Wards

A map of the general wards in the initial proposal

Maori ward

A map of the Parirua Māori Ward in the initial 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

We do not propose establishing any community boards.

In developing the initial proposal, Council explored several other options for the number and boundaries of wards.

We want to briefly outline these options and why they weren’t selected to become the initial proposal.

Option A – Three wards (two general wards, one Māori ward), ten general councillors plus one Māori ward councillor

This proposal largely mirrors the initial proposal above, with the difference of Papakōwhai being included in the Onepoto General Ward.

Option A

The population each councillor would have represented was as follows:

Ward Population (2020 estimates) Councillors Population per councillor
Pāuatahanui Ward 20,700 4 5,175
Onepoto Ward 32,200 6 5,367
Parirua Māori ward 8,220 1 8,220

Why did we not choose this option?

We did not choose this option, as Council felt that ten general councillors, plus a Māori ward councillor and a mayor, was too many to represent the district, and each ward should be represented by a similar number of councillors.

Option B – Four wards (three general wards, one Māori ward), nine general councillors plus one Māori ward councillor

This option broadly matched the current ward layouts, with the difference of the Aotea community of interest being in the current Western ward (instead of in the Eastern ward as it is now).

Option B Large

The population each councillor would have represented was as follows:

Ward Population (2020 estimates) Councillors Population per councillor
Western Ward 12,400 2 6,200
Eastern Ward 17,600 3 5,867
Northern Ward 22,900 4 5,725
Parirua Māori ward 8,220 1 8,220

Why did we not choose this option?

This option was does not align with the communities of interest requirements in the Act, as the Aotea community does not align with the current Western ward community of interest due to the geographic features, including State Highway 1, and Te Awarua-o-Porirua.


Our initial proposal was open for submissions between Monday 6 September 2021 and 5 pm on Friday 8 October 2021.

For more information, please read our full initial proposal consultation document.

Council will consider the submissions at its meeting on 21 October 2021, and will resolve its final proposal on 11 November 2021.