He Arotake Kanohitanga | Representation Review

A representation review looks at how many councillors there should be for our regional council, the boundaries of the area each represents, and the names of those areas (also known as constituencies). Representation reviews are usually carried out by councils every six years. In 2021, Council chose to include Māori constituencies at the next local government election – which means Horizons will have two representatives elected by voters on the Māori electoral role. This decision triggered an earlier than planned review of our current representation arrangements to ensure fair and effective representation continues for everyone across the region.

Public consultation on the review has now closed

The public had the opportunity in 2021 to make submissions on Council’s initial proposal. Submitters were then able to appeal Council's decision to adopt this proposal without change. One appeal was received and has been forwarded to the Local Government Commission to decide. Council has also referred its final proposal to the LGC to determine, as it does not currently meet the 'fair representation' threshold (some areas are over-represented).

The LGC held a hearing on the appeal in February 2022 and has now notified their decision. This sets the region's representation arrangements for the next two elections. 

Any queries regarding the review should be directed to:

  • Katharine Tongs, Electoral Official (Freephone 0508 800 800 or 06 9522 800)
  • Physical address – Horizons Regional Council, 11-15 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North 4442
  • Postal address – Horizons Regional Council, Private Bag 11025, Palmerston North 4442
  • Email – submissions@horizons.govt.nz

What has Council adopted?

After considering a number of potential representation arrangements, in October 2021 Council adopted a proposal that keeps the existing six general constituencies and their boundaries and adds two Māori constituencies. The proposal includes the same number of general councillors we currently have (12), and an additional two for the new Māori constituencies - 14 Councillors in total. If you would like to read everything Council considered you will find the report here

Earlier in 2021, Council held two workshops where they discussed many potential ways constituencies could be arranged. They particularly focused on groups of communities of interest that wouldn't split or create unnatural arrangements, and whether effective representation could be provided to residents. Council also ran through many different groupings of councillors across constituencies, to try and evenly spread the number of people each councillor will represent.

Council then adopted an initial proposal which anyone could make a submission on. After considering the points raised in submission, Council has now adopted its final proposal which has been approved by the commission and will be in place for the 2022 elections.

He aha tētahi kanohitanga tika? What is fair and effective representation?

Having fair and effective representation means removing barriers to participation, and not splitting recognised communities of interest, or grouping together those which have few common interests. We also must consider things such as the size of a constituency and how accessible it is, as well as whether residents can meet with an elected representative easily.

At the same time, constituency boundaries should line up with existing district council boundaries if possible. Ruapehu Constituency, with its large geographic area, small population, and distinct landscape and local identity, is an example of where these factors have been carefully balanced in Council’s decision to continue to have a separate constituency for the area.

He aha ngā hiahia ā-hapori nei? What are communities of interest?

The term ‘community of interest’ is not defined in the Local Electoral Act 2001 and may mean different things to different people. Overall, it is about considering the interests of groups of people within a constituency; for some this is the iwi they belong to or where they live, while for others it could be a sports team, where they shop or work, or a mountain or lake.
For a regional council, constituencies often bring together quite large groups of communities of interest.
Click here to see what we identified as our communities of interest.

Constituency name Number of Councillors
Ruapehu 1
Whanganui 2
Manawatū-Rangitīkei 2
Palmerston North 4
Horowhenua  2
Tararua 1
Raki 1
Tonga 1

Constituency maps - click to expand

More information

Council paper
Public notification of final proposal
Discussion document 1
Discussion document 2

Ngā Pātai Auau | Frequently asked questions

Click here to expand FAQs