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Harbour-inspired wards proposed for next Porirua election

Representation Review 2021-Initial Proposal-photo.jpg

A Māori ward honouring the original name for the area, and two general wards named for the two arms of our harbour is the plan proposed for Porirua City for future local government elections.

The proposal is part of the city’s representation review, which looks at governance arrangements for Porirua, including the number of councillors and setting ward boundaries.

The Council voted in May to establish a Māori ward for Porirua City in the 2022 and 2025 local elections. This prompted the need to look at governance for the city as a whole, as the new ward changes the number of people in our existing wards.

Acting Democratic Services Manager Jack Marshall says the goal of the review is to make sure Council provides fair and effective representation for individuals and communities.

After getting public feedback, the Council has developed an initial proposal. At a meeting today Council’s Te Puna Kōrero committee recommended the proposal be adopted by Council at its meeting on 26 August and then go out for public consultation in September.

It proposes one Māori ward and two general wards.

Names for the wards – all inspired by our harbour Te Awarua-o-Porirua – have been gifted to Council by our mana whenua, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Mr Marshall says.

“Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour has two arms, Pāuatahanui and Onepoto, and it is proposed that the two general wards are named in line with these arms – Pāuatahanui Ward in the north and Onepoto Ward in the south,” he says.

“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.”

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

The Onepoto 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, and Ascot Park.

The Parirua Ward (Māori ward) would elect one councillor city-wide.

The city is currently represented by a mayor and ten councillors so under the proposed structure the overall numbers would stay the same.

“It’s important to note that regardless of the number of councillors we have, the total amount paid to elected members remains the same, it is just split among more or less councillors,” Mr Marshall says.

Once the proposal is formally adopted by Council later this month, consultation will begin on 7 September and there will be a month for the public to make submissions and have their say.

“The Council is here to represent you, so we look forward to hearing your views.”

19 Aug 2021