Horizons Regional Council adopts final representation arrangements

Horizons Regional Council has unanimously adopted its final representation arrangements for the 2022 and 2025 local government elections.

Horizons Regional Council Chair Rachel Keedwell says that Horizons’ final representation arrangements include the current six general constituencies of Ruapehu, Whanganui, Manawatū-Rangitīkei, Palmerton North, Tararua and Horowhenua, and two new Māori constituencies: Raki Māori (Māori North) and Tonga Māori (Māori South).
“The eight constituencies will be represented by 12 general and two Māori representatives,” says Cr Keedwell. 
“Following a change to the Local Electoral Act earlier this year, Council resolved to establish a Māori constituency or constituencies for the 2022 and 2025 local elections. This resulted in a full review of Council’s representation arrangements. 
“The adoption of an initial representation arrangement proposal which included two new Māori constituencies in addition to the current six general constituencies was publicly notified for submissions between September – October 2021. 
“In addition to the arrangements members of the public were also asked whether they agreed with the proposed names for the two Maōri constituencies.
“Eleven submissions were received and considered before today’s final adoption.”
Cr Keedwell says that an increase from 12 to 14 Councillors will not equate to an increase in rates.
“While the funding to pay councillors comes out of rates, central government sets the total amount that can be used for this. This set amount will remain the same, regardless of the number of councillors.”
A public notice calling for appeals by persons or organisations that made a submission will now be issued. Any decisions on appeals will be made by the Local Government Commission (LGC). 
Council’s representation arrangements will be confirmed by the LGC by 10 April 2022. This will allow sufficient time for potential candidates to put their names forward for the elections late next year. 
To be eligible to stand as a candidate for the Māori and general constituencies, a candidate must be a New Zealand citizen, enrolled as a Parliamentary elector anywhere in New Zealand, and nominated by two electors whose names are on the roll in the constituency the candidate is standing for.
Candidates do not have to be of Māori descent or enrolled on the Māori roll to stand for a Māori constituency. Anyone who is eligible can stand for election in the constituency they want to represent.

Candidates may not stand for more than one constituency in the region at the same time, so a candidate couldn’t stand in both a general and a Māori constituency.

The roll a member of the public is registered on will determine which constituency they can vote in. If they are on the general roll they can vote in one of Horizons’ general constituencies and if they are on the Māori roll they can vote in one Māori constituency.