Major changes in the way municipal councilors of Porirua are elected are subject to consultation

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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 Kōrero 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.

West Ward Councilor Geoff Hayward says it's important that the consultation process allows the public to provide

Porirua Town Hall / SUPPLIED

West Ward Councilor Geoff Hayward says it’s important that the consultation process allows the public to provide “fair and candid feedback.” (File photo)

Cr Geoff Hayward agreed, but reiterated that the consultation process should allow “fair and frank feedback from the general public”.

“We mustn’t look like we’re trying to gerrymander.

“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t be the people we would be given this role to,” 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 Ngāti Toa Rangatira, all inspired by the port of Te Awarua-o-Porirua.

Porirua <a class=City Council’s acting director of democratic services, Jack Marshall, said those registered on the Maori electoral roll will vote for a Maori ward councilor.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Porirua Municipal Council / Fourni

Porirua City Council‘s acting director of democratic services, Jack Marshall, said those registered on the Maori electoral roll will vote for a Maori ward councilor.

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.

“We really want people to have a say in this,” Marshall said.

PORIRUA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL PROPOSAL FOR THE RESTRUCTURING OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

ONEPOTO DISTRICT

  • 5 advisers
  • Representing 30,000 inhabitants of the Isle of Mana; the bay of TÄ«tahi; TakapÅ«wāhia; Elsdon; Kenépuru; downtown; Rānui; Cannons Creek; Aotea; Waitangirua; Ascot Park
  • Electors per member *: 6000

PÄ€UATAHANUI DISTRICT

  • 4 advisers
  • Representing 22,900 residents of Pukerua Bay, Paekākāriki Hill; Judgeford; Plimmerton; HongÅ“ka; Cambourne; Paremes; Whitby; Pāuatahanui; Papakōwhai
  • Electors per member *: 5725

PARIRUA DISTRICT

  • Maori district with 1 advisor
  • Represent the entire district
  • Electors per member *: 8220

* Based on 2020 population estimates

Proposed new boundaries of Porirua City Council headquarters which will be submitted for public consultation next month.  A third Maori neighborhood, Parirua, would also represent Maori voters across the city.

Porirua City Council

Proposed new boundaries of Porirua City Council headquarters which will be submitted for public consultation next month. A third Maori neighborhood, Parirua, would also represent Maori voters across the city.

HOW THIS COMPARES WITH THE CURRENT STRUCTURE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD

EAST DISTRICT / PÄ€UATAHANUI KI TE UUNGA MAI O TE RA

  • 4 advisers
  • Currently represented by Izzy Ford, Kylie Wihapi, Faafoi Seiuli, Moze Galo
  • Representative Rānui, 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, Pāuatahanui, Paremata, Papakōwhai, Pukerua Bay, Judgeford, Whitby
  • Electors per member: 6,025

WEST DISTRICT / TĪTAHI RANGITUHI PORIRUA KI TE URU

  • 2 advisers
  • Currently represented by Geoff Hayward, Mike Duncan
  • Representative Elsdon, TÄ«tahi Bay, TakapÅ«wāhia, downtown, Kenepuru, Mana Island
  • Electors per member: 5,925

Source: Porirua City Council


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