The method of electing municipal councilors in Porirua could be the subject of a major overhaul aimed at providing “fair and precise representation”.
The proposal would see three new parishes established – two general and one Maori. There would be an elected mayor, nine headquarters councilors and a Maori quarter councilor. People with the Maori electoral role would vote in the Maori quarter.
At present, 10 councilors represent three neighborhoods defined by geography. Four councilors represent the eastern district, four the north and two the west.
But advisers at the Te Puna KÅrero committee meeting held on Thursday on Zoom said they were reluctant to lead the representation review, preferring instead for such a change to be overseen by an independent group. . An elected official went so far as to warn against gerrymandering.
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The terms of council representation were not due to be revised until 2024, but a council vote in May to introduce a Maori constituency for the 2022 and 2025 local elections pushed those discussions forward.
During Thursday’s meeting, Councilor Josh Trlin said that while his preference would be for any changes to be made independently of the council, ideally using an election commission process, he supported the proposed restructuring.
Cr Geoff Hayward agreed, but reiterated that the consultation process should allow “fair and frank feedback from the general public”.
âWe mustn’t look like we’re trying to gerrymander.
âIn an ideal world, we wouldn’t be the people we would be given this role to,â said Hayward, an East Ward councilor.
Porirua mayor Anita Baker said the issue had been the subject of a workshop three times since June, before the report was tabled. Several residents’ associations were also consulted.
The names of the proposed new neighborhoods were given by NgÄti Toa Rangatira, all inspired by the port of Te Awarua-o-Porirua.
While three options were considered, the Local Elections Act states that the council must choose a preferred option for consultation.
Once the proposal is formally adopted by council at next Thursday’s plenary council meeting, a month-long public comment period will begin on September 7.
Acting Democratic Services Director Jack Marshall said submissions could be made online, through the website or by email, forms would be available at local libraries, and the council would also receive submissions through the job.
âWe really want people to have a say in this,â Marshall said.
PORIRUA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL PROPOSAL FOR THE RESTRUCTURING OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
- 5 advisers
- Representing 30,000 inhabitants of the Isle of Mana; the bay of TÄ«tahi; TakapÅ«wÄhia; Elsdon; KenÃ©puru; downtown; RÄnui; Cannons Creek; Aotea; Waitangirua; Ascot Park
- Electors per member *: 6000
- 4 advisers
- Representing 22,900 residents of Pukerua Bay, PaekÄkÄriki Hill; Judgeford; Plimmerton; HongÅka; Cambourne; Paremes; Whitby; PÄuatahanui; PapakÅwhai
- Electors per member *: 5725
- Maori district with 1 advisor
- Represent the entire district
- Electors per member *: 8220
* Based on 2020 population estimates
HOW THIS COMPARES WITH THE CURRENT STRUCTURE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
EAST DISTRICT / PÄUATAHANUI KI TE UUNGA MAI O TE RA
- 4 advisers
- Currently represented by Izzy Ford, Kylie Wihapi, Faafoi Seiuli, Moze Galo
- Representative RÄnui, Cannons Creek, Waitangirua, Ascot Park, Aotea
- Electors per member: 6275
NORTH DISTRICT / PUKERUA KI TE RAKI
- 4 advisers
- Currently portrayed by Josh Trlin, Ross Leggett, Nathan Waddle, Euon Murrell
- Representative Camborne, Plimmerton, PÄuatahanui, Paremata, PapakÅwhai, Pukerua Bay, Judgeford, Whitby
- Electors per member: 6,025
WEST DISTRICT / TÄªTAHI RANGITUHI PORIRUA KI TE URU
- 2 advisers
- Currently represented by Geoff Hayward, Mike Duncan
- Representative Elsdon, TÄ«tahi Bay, TakapÅ«wÄhia, downtown, Kenepuru, Mana Island
- Electors per member: 5,925
Source: Porirua City Council