Representation Review 2018

Horizons Regional Council is reviewing its existing representation arrangements in 2018. At the moment, the Council is made up of twelve councillors, elected across six constituencies.

Council adopted the existing arrangement as the 'final proposal'  the preferred option for the next two local authority elections  after considering submissions at a meeting on 30 May 2018.

The opportunity for submitters to appeal this decision closed on Monday 23 July 2018, and two submissions were received. In September, Horizons forwarded the final proposal, the appeals and supporting information about the review process to the Local Government Commission, who will decide the final arrangement. The Commission would also have had to make this decision if no appeals had been received. This is because Council's final proposal does not meet the 'fair representation' criteria in section 19V of the Local Electoral Act; that is, the average number of people that councillors in some constituencies represent is greater than 10 percent more or less than the average number of people per councillor across the region.

The Local Government Commission will conduct a hearing of the appeals on 27 February 2019, starting at 8.30am, in the Tararua Room at Horizons Regional Council, 11-15 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North. The Commission will  publicly notified its decision on the final arrangement no later than 10 April 2019.

Key documents

The following documents were sent to the Local Government Commission following Council's adoption of its final proposal and the close of appeals.

Report for the Local Government Commission
Annex A - Horizons Regional Council constituency boundaries
Annex B - Presentation to Council workshop 28 Feb 2018
Annex C - Supporting information for Council workshop 28 Feb 2018
Annex D - Report to Council on initial proposal 27 Mar 2018
Annex E - Report to Submissions Hearing 30 May 2018
Annex F - Council resolutions from Submissions Hearing & Council meeting 30 May 2018
Annex G - Appeal (Mark Chilcott)
Annex H - Appeal (Adam Canning)
Annex J - Council resolution referring final proposal to Local Government Commission 28 Aug 2018
Annex K - Copy of Horizons report to Local Government Commission Jan 2013


  • Council adopts initial proposal 27 March, 2018

  • Consultation period begins 10 April, 2018

  • End of consultation 14 May, 2018 12:00 p.m.

    Submissions must be received by Horizons

  • Submission hearings 31 May, 2018

  • Final proposal notified 12 June, 2018

  • Appeal period opens 12 June, 2018

  • Appeal period closes 23 July, 2018 05:00 p.m.

    Appeals must be received by Horizons

  • Proposal forwarded to the Local Government Commission September, 2018

  • Appeals hearing 27 February, 2019

    The Commission will notify their determination on the final arrangement by 10 April 2019

Existing constituency boundaries

For more information on the final proposal, take a look at the report to the Strategy and Policy Committee deliberations meeting and the public notice. Click on the map below to find out more about the constituency boundaries and what Horizons does.

What is a Representation Review?

All local authorities have to carry out a review of the number of councillors, and the number and boundaries of areas they represent every six years. This ensures that people and communities have access to fair and effective representation of their interests by their local councils.

This part of the review involves councils adopting an initial proposal, and then asking communities to tell us what they think through submissions. Council will hold a hearing for any submitters who would like to present their views in person. Councillors then consider the submissions before deciding on the final proposal.

After the final proposal has been adopted, there will be an opportunity for submitters to appeal the outcome, and for anyone to object if there are changes from the initial proposal. Any appeals or objections are referred to the Local Government Commission to resolve.

The representation review process is set out in the Local Electoral Act 2001. You can find out more from the Local Government Commission, which has a role in ensuring councils' reviews are carried out properly and their arrangements meet the requirements of the Act, and the Commission's guidelines.

What has to be considered?

There are three things that have to be balanced - identifying communities of interest, effective representation, and fair representation. Alongside these factors, regional councils must have between six and fourteen elected councillors, and the boundaries of constituencies must align as much as possible with other electoral boundaries (such as district council or ward boundaries).

Communities of interest are based on perceptual (belonging to a clearly defined area or locality), functional (ability to meet with reasonable economy the community's requirements for comprehensive physical and human services) and political (the ability of the elected body to represent the interests and reconcile the conflicts of all its members) attributes.

Effective representation includes avoiding barriers to participation, and not splitting communities of interest or grouping together those with few common interests. Things like the size and accessibility of an area are also important, to ensure that all residents can access their councillors, and councillors can attend meetings and represent their communities' views.

Fair representation seeks to ensure that each councillor represents a similar number of people. If the difference from the average is more than 10 percent in any constituency, then the Local Government Commission will make the final determination on whether council's final proposal is appropriate.

The Local Government Commission guidelines describe these concepts in more detail.  

Regional, City or District Council – What's the difference?

Your city or district council is responsible for community services in your area, like road maintenance, libraries, recreation areas, land use and subdivisions. Your regional council manages natural resources (such as air, water, land and the coast), across several city / district boundaries. Because these activities often cover large geographic areas, Horizons manages them for the benefit of the whole region. Many of the ten city and district councils that make up the Horizons Region will be reviewing their representation arrangements this year, in separate processes.
Annex I - Report to Council referring final proposal to LGC 28 Aug 2018